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Louisiana's DWI Charges

Posted By: On behalf of J. Kevin Stockstill, Attorney At Law // On:

Earning a DUI/DWI in the state of Louisiana is a serious offense. Elevated alcohol or substance levels in a driver's blood diminishes mental and motor reactions, which can put the driver and all other commuters at risk of severe injury or death. DUI/DWI charges are not taken lightly, as it is the leading cause of motor vehicle related deaths.

As a resident of Louisiana with a driver's license, it's important to know and understand the impaired/intoxicated driving laws. Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limits are as follows:
  • All drivers: BAC limit of 0.08%
  • Commercial drivers: BAC limit of 0.04%
  • Minor drivers (under 21 years of age): BAC limit of 0.02%

Additional Offenses

If you are pulled over and refuse a sobriety test, you will more than likely be arrested. An officer requesting a sobriety test feels that they have enough evidence against you to charge you with a DWI.

However, Kevin Stockstill actually encourages his clients NOT to submit to the sobriety test. Submitting to the test only adds to the evidence against you. It is better to be arrested than to submit and have that evidence held against you. Without submission to the test and a strong case with a good lawyer, you greatly increase your chances of winning the case and having the charges dismissed.

Penalties

Regardless, it is important to know the penalties of receiving a DWI charge.

First offense - Misdemeanor
  • $300-$1,000 fine ($750-$1,000 if BAC is 0.20% or higher)
  • 10 days to six months of jail time
  • Driver's license suspension of 12 months (2 years if BAC is 0.20% or higher)
  • Restricted driver's license possible immediately and an IID (ignition interlock device) will be required for the entire suspension period
  • Possible penalties:
    • 32 hours of community service
    • court approved substance abuse program
    • court approved driver improvement program
Second offense - Misdemeanor
  • $750-$1,000 fine
  • 30 days to six months of jail time
  • Driver's license suspension of 24 months (4 years if BAC is 0.20% or higher)
  • Restricted driver's license possible after 45 days and an IID will be required for the entire suspension period
  • Possible penalties:
    • 240 hours of community service
    • court approved substance abuse program
    • court approved driver's improvement program
    • IID restriction with driver's license reinstatement
Third offense - Felony
  • $2,000 fine
  • one to five years of jail time
  • Driver's license suspension of 36 months
  • Restricted driver's license only available if enrolled in DWI or sobriety program and only eligible to apply for IID after no less than 45 days of suspension
  • Must complete substance abuse evaluation and treatment programs
  • Possible penalties:
    • court approved substance abuse program
    • court approved driver's improvement program
    • seizure and sale of motor vehicle
    • IID restriction with driver's license reinstatement
All offenses require Louisiana SR22 auto insurance. It is also noteworthy that any drunk driver who causes an accident that kills at least one person could face up to 30 years in jail.

Charged with a DUI/DWI in Louisiana? Call Kevin Stockstill today.

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