The privilege of driving in the state of Louisiana is enjoyed by numerous residents who have successfully passed the requirements of licensure and have obtained their driving documentation. When a person receives a license to legally drive, they have demonstrated that they understand the rules that govern safe driving and that they know how to operate a motor vehicle safely and effectively.
Many new drivers are counseled in their drivers’ education classes that drinking and driving is a dangerous practice. What they may not pick up from those lessons is that alleged drinking and driving is also a heavily penalized crime that can alter the course of individuals’ lives. In particular, not all Louisiana drivers are aware that they are subject to the state’s implied consent law when they take to their vehicles.
The Louisiana implied consent law states that a driver consents to chemical testing for alcohol in their system when they operate a vehicle in Louisiana. That means that if a person is pulled over for suspected drunk driving, under the law they are supposed to let law enforcement officials subject them to breathalyzer testing or other forms of analysis.
This may seem highly invasive for individuals who have been subjected to suspected drunk driving stops when they were sober. Chemical testing results can be used against drunk driving defendants during their legal proceedings, and erroneous or wrongful results may lead to innocent individuals suffering the penalties of DWI convictions without cause. To this end, a driver may choose to refuse to submit to testing despite the presence of the state’s implied consent law.
Readers are reminded that no part of this post advocates for any particular course of action when it comes to DWI police stops, and that the contents of this post are informational and provide no legal advice. Individuals must make their own decisions with regard to participating in chemical testing during a DWI stop and can later choose to work with drunk driving defense lawyers to assist them with their cases.
If an individual is stopped for suspected drunk driving and refuses to consent to chemical testing, they may be arrested by the officers who initiated the stop. They must be provided with certain information at that time, including a recitation of their constitutional rights and information that they may lose their driving privileges due to their failure to submit to chemical testing. This is an incomplete list of information that drunk driving suspects must be given and DWI defense attorneys can help their clients protect their rights.
Louisiana’s implied consent law can be confusing and may create apprehension in individuals who do not want to take chemical tests when they are stopped by law enforcement officials. Regardless of what happens, DWI suspects have rights and can fight to protect their freedom if their arrested for their alleged crimes.