Nebraska Alcohol Laws
Where to Buy Alcohol
Privately owned retail stores sell spirits, although beer, wine, and liquor are all available in most grocery stores and convenience marts. Alcohol can be sold 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday, with alcohol sales prohibited before noon on Sundays.
Legal Age for Drinking/Serving Alcohol
You can serve alcohol in a restaurant, work as a bartender, or sell spirits in a liquor store at age 19, but as in all states, you must be 21 to consume alcohol.
Open Container Laws
Any containers of alcohol that have previously been opened must be carried in the trunk of the vehicle so that the driver and passengers do not have access.
If a driver tests positively with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) over the .08 percent maximum legal limit, s/he is considered ‘per se intoxicated’ and can be charged with DUI (driving under the influence). No other evidence is required by the court to prove the driver’s guilt.
A driver with a BAC of .15 percent over the legal limit of .08 percent faces more severe penalties.
‘Zero tolerance laws’ are designed to discourage drivers under the age of 21 from drinking and driving, Therefore, these young drivers face still DUI penalties if chemical testing indicates a BAC over .02 percent.
A driver refusing to comply with a law enforcement officer’s request to perform a breath, blood, or urine test for intoxication may face a penalty of driver’s license suspension for up to one year. This falls under what are known as ‘implied consent laws.’
The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) can suspend or remove a driver’s license in Nebraska. For the first DUI offense the mandatory suspension is 90 days; for the second offense, one year; for the third offense, one year.
Vehicle confiscation for a DUI conviction – either permanently or temporarily – is not a penalty option in Nebraska, and neither is mandatory alcohol education or treatment. However, installation of an ignition interlock system is a penalty that is available to the courts.
DUI is considered a felony after the fourth conviction.