Louisiana DWI laws and penalties

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Drunk driving causes many accidents and fatalities, which is why states make strict laws. Alcohol impairs judgment, decreases decision-making abilities, and interferes with reflexes. Drivers in Hammond, Louisiana should know DUI laws and possible penalties they may face.

Over of Louisiana DWI

Louisiana refers to drunk driving as DWI, or driving while intoxicated, but DUI and DWI mean the same in the state. DUI laws make it illegal to operate any motorized vehicle or watercraft with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more. If a person has a BAC of .08 or more, the officer doesn’t need further evidence, which is called per se.

Commercial drivers, including bus drivers, are considered legally impaired at .04 and drivers under 21 a .02. The laws also prohibit driving or boating under the influence of a controlled substance alone or in combination with alcohol.

Penalties for DWI

Penalties for a first DWI charge usually include between a $300 to $1,000 fine, a 10-day to 6-month jail term, and a two-year license suspension. The driver must install an ignition interlock device, which measures their BAC before they start the vehicle, on their vehicle for 12 months. For a first DWI, house arrest and/or probation can replace jail time as an alternative sentence.

A second offense increases the jail time to a minimum of 30 days, license suspension to four months, and minimum fines to $750. Under implied consent laws, drivers are required to submit to chemical testing, and refusals include an immediate one-year license suspension.

The prosecution must prove the driver was intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt with evidence from tests. Drivers can challenge the DWI, but if they are guilty, they may plea down to a lesser charge.


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