How Strict Are The Louisiana DUI Laws?

Every state in the country has its own DUI laws. Louisiana DUI laws are actually mild compared to DUI laws in states like Alaska. But that does not mean that crimes involving a DUI are not considered serious or are not punished harshly in Louisiana.

Many DWI/DUI offenders face a jail sentence if convicted in the state. This is why people that are visiting Louisiana and those that live in the state should research its DUI laws to avoid getting into trouble with law enforcement.

BAC Level in Louisiana

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) requirements differ for people who are 21 years old and above and for people less than 21 years of age.  For drivers who are 21 years and above, a BAC of .08% and above is enough to be charged with DWI/DUI. Drivers under the age of 21 can be charged with the same if their BAC is .02% and over.

To measure your BAC level a law enforcement officer may ask you to breathe into a breathalyzer or have your blood or urine tested.  You may face a 365 day license suspension for refusing the test for the first offense, or a 730 days suspension if your refuse the test for second and subsequent offenses.

First Louisiana DWI Punishment

Depending on the situation you may face two days to six months in jail and also fines of up to $1,000 for a first offense.  Your license may also be suspended for three months and you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. You have to breathe into this device before you start your vehicle.  The device is meant to prevent you from driving under the influence of alcohol but it is very expensive.

Second DWI Offense Penalties

The penalties for a second offense are similar to those of a first offense. Your license will be suspended for two years and you will have to pay $200 as a license reinstatement fee.  You will also have to spend 48 hours or up to 6 months in jail. The fine for a second offense is $1,000 with additional court costs. The penalties are similar to those of a first offense but with longer license suspension and a possible longer prison sentence.

3rd DWI Is A Felony

The first and second offenses are considered misdemeanors but a third and subsequent offenses are felonies.  For this reason, a third DUI comes with very harsh penalties. Your license will be suspended for up to 3 years and you will pay a $300 license reinstatement fee.   In certain situations the offender’s vehicle may be confiscated. You will also have to serve a year in prison but may end up staying in jail for 5 years depending on the nature of your case.

There is also the possibility that you may be sentenced to home confinement.  The fee for a third offense is $2,000 and the offender has to complete a court approved program.

For a fourth and subsequent offense, the accused driver will face even harsher punishment that includes paying fines of up to $5,000.  Any conviction whether it is a first or fourth offense, leaves a mark in your record that could negatively affect your future employment opportunities and more.