It is a guarantee that your license will be suspended in Louisiana following a DUI whether or not you submit to a blood alcohol test or not. The Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS) Office of Motor Vehicle (OMV) will only reinstate your license, after you pay $50 to $3000 and obtain an SR-22 license. Your insurance rates will definitely go up significantly after that.
Louisiana Suspended Drivers License
You can refuse to take a test and as a result avoid a harsh conviction for a first offense but your license will still be suspended. Every driver is subject to the state’s implied consent law that allows for penalties for failure to submit to a BAC test. It is up to the law enforcement officer that pulls you over to decide whether you get to breathe into a breathalyzer or give a blood or urine sample. In some counties, an officer can obtain a warrant to force you to submit to a blood or urine test.
Length of License Suspensions
The DMV clearly outlines the duration for license suspensions for DUI arrest. They include:
- For a person that refuses a blood an alcohol analysis test:
- For a first offense -180 days
- Subsequent offense -545 day
- For person who is 21 years old or younger with a BAC content that is .08% or higher:
- For a first offense- 90 days
- Subsequent offense-365 days
- If the 21 year old or younger has a BAC level of .02% or higher:
- For a first offense-180 days
- For subsequent offense (3rd,4th, subsequent offense) -365 days
You may receive an additional suspension of 2 years for a second conviction, or 4 years for a second conviction with a BAC level of 0.2% or higher, or 3 years for a third DUI/DWI conviction. You may also have to pay fines and may face jail time.
Implied Consent Violations
An officer needs to give an “Implied Consent Warning” to a driver the officer pulls over for a reasonable suspicion that the driver is drunk. It is simply a warning that if the driver refuses to submit to tests, the driver’s driving license will be suspended. A judge may be persuaded by your attorney not to punish you for refusing to submit to the test if the police officer did not present the implied consent warning.
Your attorney may also combat the states charges against you by proving that there was no probable cause to pull you over for drunk driving in the first place. The court requires the officer to show that there was enough evidence to require a chemical BAC test as described in Louisiana’s Implied Consent law. For example, drunk driving charges against you can be dropped if it turns out that you were not driving in a dangerous or questionable manner and you were not at a DUI checkpoint. Remember that there is no punishment for refusing to participate in a field sobriety test unlike for BAC tests. An experienced DWI attorney can guide you through this complex process.