Lincoln, NE–As many Nebraskans celebrate the start of the Holiday season this week, statistics show that too many people will make the poor choice of drinking and driving. Sen. Harr stated: “In order to gain a better understanding of how to prevent drinking and driving, we need an effective review of Nebraska’s DUI statutes. We need to determine what works and what doesn’t work.”
Today, Nebraska State Senator Burke Harr, Legislative District 8, submitted the findings on Legislative Resolution 249 (LR 249) to the Judiciary Committee. LR 249 examines the cost and prevalence of alcohol-impaired driving in Nebraska, evaluates how Nebraska is addressing the problem, and compares Nebraska’s efforts to the 13 states that border Nebraska or who are members of the current Big Ten Conference. LR 249 is the first comprehensive study of Nebraska’s DUI laws since 1991. The last comprehensive study on Nebraska’s DUI laws was LR 84, a report by the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee. LR 84 was an overview of Nebraska DUI laws in relation to other states, but it did not examine their effectiveness in preventing drinking and driving. Between 1991 and the present, the Legislature passed over 120 changes to its statutes regarding driving under the influence. The Legislature has made no efforts to determine the effectiveness of these changes.
LR 249 makes several recommendations for the Legislature to consider. LR 249 recommends the Legislature research the effectiveness of current statutes to prevent drinking and driving and reduce recidivism, to evaluate best practices, and learn what can be done besides increasing penalties.
Sen. Harr will bring the findings of LR 249 to the Judiciary Committee next session and suggest implementation of the findings of the study.