Driving under the influence in Louisiana happens when a motorist operates a vehicle while impaired from the effects of alcohol or drug use. Law enforcement officers in the state have the responsibility to pull over any driver suspected of being under the influence behind the wheel. Allegations of driving under the influence must be proven in court for a conviction to take place.
Erratic driving by a motorist is the most likely reason a police officer will suspect him or her of DUI. This driving can be the operation of a vehicle at an inappropriate speed or a demonstrated difficulty to keep the vehicle in a single lane while driving. Once the police officer executes the traffic stop, the smell of alcohol on the breath of a driver or some other evidence of alcohol consumption can lead to a complete investigation.
Field sobriety tests are the tool of choice for many police officers who wish to determine if a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The one-legged stand, toe-to-heel walking and involuntary eye movements are often included with field sobriety tests. Drivers who perform poorly on field sobriety tests will likely face arrest. Once at the police station, it is common for officers to administer a breath or blood test to the arrested person. A blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher can become court evidence against the suspected drunk driver.
A DUI conviction can carry a laundry list of consequences for the driver. These consequences can include time spent in a local jail, the assessment of fines and restrictions to the driver’s license. Prison time is within the realm of possibilities for repeat offenders.
Individuals arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence face harsh penalties and restrictions if a court finds that these suspicions are confirmed. Suspected drunk drivers may want to begin mounting a defense against the allegation as early in the process as possible to minimize the damage done to their lives. A criminal attorney may assist a person accused of driving under the influence.