Wondering about drug and alcohol laws in Nebraska? Want to know about penalties for breaking these laws? Then, check out this overview of the laws in Nebraska.

DUI Laws in Nebraska

In 2017, there were 6,877 arrests for DUIs in Nebraska. That same year 210 people died in crashes, and close to a third (63) of those fatalities were alcohol related. Drinking and driving is incredibly dangerous, and to deter people from this crime, the state has strict laws.

The blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for Nebraska drivers is 0.08%, and getting caught can lead to these penalties:

  • 1st time — 7 to 60 days in jail, $500 fine, and license revoked for 6 years
  • 2nd time — 30 to 180 days in jail, $500 fine, and license revoked for 18 months.
  • 3rd time — 90 days to 1 year in jail, $1,000 fine, and license revoked for 15 years.

In many cases, the judge may suspend your sentence so you can face probation rather than jail time. But if you break the terms of your probation, you incur the original penalties noted above.

If your BAC is 0.15% or higher, the penalty is much more severe. For example, you can lose your license for a year for the 1st offense, and for the 2nd offense, you can lose your license for up to 15 years.

Zero Tolerance Laws for Nebraska

The drinking and driving laws for drivers under 21 are stricter. Called zero tolerance laws, these rules ban young drivers from having any trace of alcohol in their systems. If you are in this age range, you can be charged with a crime if your BAC is 0.02% or higher.

Is Marijuana Legal in Nebraska?

All marijuana is illegal in Nebraska. The state does not allow this drug for recreational or legal purposes. But recently, Nebraska decriminalized possession of small amounts.

If you have 1 ounce or less of marijuana, you can only be charged with an infraction. The penalty is up to a $300 fine, and you may be required to go to drug education classes. If caught a 2nd time, you can face a $400 fine and up to 5 days in jail. The 3rd offense may lead up to a week in jail and up to a $500 fine.

For amounts over 1 ounce, you may be charged with a misdemeanor and spend up to 3 months in jail. If you have over a pound of marijuana in Nebraska, the crime is a felony, leading to up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Drug and Alcohol Related Crimes

Nebraska has a wide range of laws on drugs and alcohol, covering everything from giving drugs to wildlife to drugging horses for races to operating boats while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

In Nebraska, you cannot legally possess, sell, grow, or manufacture illegal drugs such as meth, cocaine, and heroin. This state also has specific laws related to adults having minors sell or manufacture drugs, and if charged with this type of offense, you cannot argue that you thought the person was older.

Penalties for Drug or Alcohol Abuse in Nebraska

To give you a sense of how seriously Nebraska treats drug crimes, take a look at these penalties:

  • Selling, manufacturing, or possessing exceptionally hazardous schedule I, II, or III drugs near a youth facility is a Class ID felony. The penalty is up to 50 years in prison and a mandatory 3 year sentence.
  • For 2nd and 3rd offenses of the same crime, the penalty is mandatory 5 years and up to 50 years in prison.
  • Possessing drug paraphernalia is a Class II misdemeanor, and you can face up to 6 months in prison, up to a $1000 fine, or both.
  • Delivering drug paraphernalia to a minor is a Class I misdemeanor, and penalties can include up to 1 year in prison, a $1000 fine, or both.
  • Selling over 140 grams of cocaine or heroin is a Class IB felony. The minimum sentence is 20 years in prison and up to life in prison.
  • if you are near a youth center (school, rec center, video arcade, etc), you face the same penalties for 28 or more grams of cocaine or heroin.
  • For 2nd and 3rd offenses near a youth center, you can be charged with a class IB felony for a little as 10 grams of cocaine.
  • Possessing certain items to make meth is a Class IV felony, and the penalty is up to 2 years in prison followed by 12 months of supervision, up to a $10,000 fine, or both.

As you can see from this sample of laws, the penalties vary based on the type of drug, the amount, the location of the crime, and the number of prior offenses.

If you are abusing drugs or alcohol, get help before you face criminal action. To learn more, call Rehab Adviser today. Asking for help is the first step to a new life. 


  1. Classification of penalties. (n.d.)
  2. Nebraska Department of Transportation. (n.d.). Nebraska history of alcohol-related crashes
  3. Nebraska drunk driving fines & penalties. (2010, July 7)
  4. Nebraska Legislature. (n.d.). Nebraska revised statute 28-416
  5. Nebraska marijuana laws: Recreational vs. medical legalization. (2019, September 6)

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