Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a serious charge in every state. Louisiana has strong penalties for anyone convicted of this offense. The consequences of a DUI can follow you for years to come.
Arrest and processing
Unlike other highway violations, the police officer who stops you for a DUI cannot just give you a ticket and send you on your way. In most cases, they will place you under arrest and take you to the station. At this point, the police will take your picture and fingerprints. On your first offense, you can pay bail and be released.
Louisiana penalties increase with the number of DUI offenses. The first and second DUIs are misdemeanors. Additional offenses rank as more serious felonies.
Fines are a standard penalty. The first offense has a fine of up to $1,000, and a fourth conviction costs a mandatory $5,000.
People convicted of a DUI will most likely spend some time in jail. The amount depends on the court and the circumstances, but it ranges from a few days to a year. The offender will also spend at least two years on probation.
Other common penalties include:
- License suspension
- Community service
- Driver re-education
- Substance abuse education or treatment
Once you are allowed to get back on the road, you may experience other consequences from your conviction. Insurance companies require higher premiums for people with a DUI on their records. Drivers with multiple convictions may have difficulty finding insurance coverage.
Recognize your limits
Driving while impaired presents a danger for you and everyone else on the road. The heavy penalties assessed by the court are meant to discourage people from drinking and driving. Hopefully, understanding what happens when you get a DUI will stop you from taking the risk.