Individuals facing driving while intoxicated charges in Louisiana may have to deal with more penalties than they realize. DWI cases are, in fact, two-fold in that they have both criminal and administrative consequences attached to them. You need to make sure you deal with both simultaneously. Many people only focus on the criminal side of the matter which only comes back to hurt them in the end.
Alcohol may be readily available in various establishments all over the state, but that does not mean that any level of driving under the influence of alcohol is tolerated. Yes, the state has set blood-alcohol limits, just like everywhere else, but police can arrest you simply for showing signs of impairment, even if your BAC is still below the legal limit.
Current DWI laws
DWI laws do change on occasion, but the current laws state that individuals with a BAC of .08 percent or higher are not to be on the road. Police can arrest underage individuals with BAC levels of .02 percent or higher. Louisiana does have an aggravated DWI charge, which comes with enhanced penalties. This level of DWI charge is for anyone found driving with a BAC of .15 percent or higher.
When it comes to detention, jail time may be required depending on the number of DWI offenses on your record. It may be possible to reduce jail time if you are willing or the court agrees to let you complete community service and a driver education course. When it comes to administrative penalties, the following may apply to your case, again, depending on the number of offenses currently on your record:
- First offense: 90-day license suspension
- Second offense: 1-year license suspension
- Third offense: 2-year license suspension
- Fourth or subsequent offenses: Loss of license and vehicle confiscation
The state of Louisiana may require you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle as well. This is a Breathalyzer attached to your car, which prevents you from turning the vehicle on if it detects alcohol in your system.
DWI charge does not guarantee conviction
If charged with DWI, it does not mean that a conviction is guaranteed in your case. It does not mean that you will endure maximum punishment. All it means is you have a need to defend yourself in order to secure your freedom and to keep your driving privileges. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assist you with both the criminal and administrative aspects of your case and will work diligently to help you achieve the best possible outcome.