In Louisiana, it is illegal for anyone to operate a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content, or BAC, that is over .08%. If a police officer pulls you over because he or she suspects that you’re drunk, the officer may ask you to submit to sobriety tests. While you may refuse a field sobriety test, you are not legally allowed to refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test.
Implied consent laws
The implied consent laws in Louisiana mean that drivers in the state agree to submit to BAC testing when they receive their driver’s licenses. If you refuse a BAC test, you could have your driver’s license revoked for up to a year. You may also be convicted of a DUI even if your criminal defense attorney points out that there is no proof from a BAC test.
Penalties for DUI
Whether there are any prior DUIs on your record affects how you will be punished. The penalties also become much worse if the DUI caused a fatal car accident. The penalties for a first-time DUI conviction are:
- 10 days to 6 months in jail
- $300-$1000 fine
You may be able to receive probation instead of a jail sentence by spending two days in jail and attending court-approved programs. In addition to attending a substance abuse program and a driver improvement program, you may also have to participate in a community service project.
The penalties for second and third DUIs are more severe. If you get probation on a second DUI conviction, you will be required to spend 15 days in jail. A third DUI conviction comes with a sentence of between one and five years in jail. You may want to work with a criminal defense attorney if your DUI charge is not your first.