If you are convicted of drunk driving in Louisiana, the penalties can be very serious. For many people, however, it is not spending a few nights in jail or steep fines that concern them the most. Instead, people are most often concerned about whether their driver’s license will be suspended, and if so, whether they can obtain a hardship license.
In Louisiana, a first-time offense for drunk driving if you’re over 21 years old will result in a 90-day suspension to your license, however, there are options that may be possible to allow you to continue driving. An experienced attorney will be able to guide you through these options and determine if they are right for you.
What is a Louisiana Hardship License?
After your license has been suspended 30 days for drunk driving, you may be able to apply for a restricted license called a hardship license. This will give you the ability to drive during the period in which your license is suspended so that you may “maintain the necessities of life,” but with specific conditions. Some of these rules may include attending an alcohol education class, limiting what times of day and where you can drive, and only operating vehicles with an ignition interlock device that detects breath alcohol.
“How do I get a Hardship License in Lousiana?”
A hardship license can only be obtained if the district court is petitioned in the parish in which the applicant resides. If the applicant has any changes in restrictions of the court order during the period in which they have a hardship license, the applicant must petition the court again to approve the changes.
Certain documentation may be required to receive a hardship license including an SR-22 (“high risk driver”) Filing, ignition interlock installation and lease agreement, court order, and recommendation from support services.
Ignition Interlock Devices are not required for non alcohol-related driving suspensions, including failing to render child support, failing to stop for a school bus, texting while driving, littering violations, or failing to pay income taxes.
In some situations when a driver uses his employer’s vehicle during their working duties, the court may allow the applicant to use the company vehicle without the use of an interlock device. The applicant will be required to provide a written statement from the employer stating they are aware of the driver’s restrictions. If the applicant is the owner of the company that they are driving the vehicle for, however, they must still install and interlock device on the vehicle.
You must also keep the court order approving your hardship license with you and attach it to your driver’s license.
Exceptions for Hardship Licenses
Hardship licenses may be issued only to Class D or E drivers. They cannot be issued to an applicant who operates a commercial motor vehicle and has a Class A, B, or C license.
If an applicant has their license suspended in another state but becomes a resident of Louisiana, the state of Louisiana may not issue a hardship license to that applicant. In addition, if someone residing in Louisiana who has a license from another state, but the license is suspended in Louisiana, the applicant can receive a hardship license, but only if he or she meets the requirements to receive a license in Louisiana.
If you violate the terms of your hardship license agreement, you could be faced with additional penalties depending upon the reasons for the hardship license which typically includes an added year of license suspension.
Obtain Advice from a Baton Rouge DWI Attorney
It is easy to see that there are many statutes and requirements for obtaining a hardship license in Louisiana. That is where an experienced Baton Rouge DWI defense lawyer can help. The attorneys at Russell Law Firm LLC have years of experience helping their clients through the complicated laws of driving under the influence and obtaining hardship licenses.
Call our firm today at (225) 307-0088 to schedule a consultation and discuss obtaining a hardship license.