Enhanced Sentence for Prior DUI Conviction

In State v. Hansen, 258 Neb. 752, 605 N.W.2d 461, 463 (2000 , Hansen was arrested for DUI on August 12, 1998, and charged with fourth-offense DUI. Hansen pled guilty on January 27, 1999, and at an enhancement hearing, the State offered three exhibits showing Hansen's prior DUI convictions on July 20 and December 9, 1988, and May 7, 1998. Hansen objected to the use of the first two convictions, claiming that because the convictions were from 1988, more than 8 years had passed and consideration of those convictions would be unconstitutional. Hansen argued that for the court to apply the 12-year look-back provision in newly enacted 60-6,196, it would be an unconstitutional ex post facto application of the statute, since Hansen's previous convictions were already in existence when the statute was amended and would not have been considered under 60-6,196 as it existed prior to the 1998 amendment. The trial court received evidence of Hansen's 1988 convictions over Hansen's objection, and he was convicted of fourth-offense DUI. On appeal, the Nebraska Supreme Court stated that the district court's consideration of Hansen's 10-year-old convictions for DUI did not result in an ex post facto application of 60-6,196, allowing the trial court to consider a defendant's DUI convictions within the 12 years prior to the offense for which the defendant stood trial. The court reasoned that the newly enacted version of 60-6,196 was in existence at the time Hansen committed the offense for which he received an enhanced sentence. The court stated that consideration of a defendant's DUI convictions within the past 12 years is proper since an offender subject to enhancement of punishment under the current version of 60-6,196 is not receiving additional punishment for his or her previous convictions, but is being penalized under the amended statute for an offense committed after its passage.