Louisiana has strict laws against drinking and driving. As such, if you’re accused of drinking and driving, you could be in a position where you face harsh penalties.
Driving while you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on a watercraft, in a vehicle or while using other types of vehicles is illegal in Louisiana if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08. You will also be charged if you are found to be under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance. If you’re driving dangerously as a result of side effects caused by legal drugs, like a prescription medicine for anxiety, you could be charged as well.
A first offense can lead to fines of up to $1,000 and lead to a prison sentence of up to six months. This harsh penalty is there to deter people from making the mistake of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, but it can mean that innocent people and those who made a one-time error in judgment face serious penalties. Fortunately, there are alternative penalties for first-time offenders including reduced jail time, community service and participation in other programs.
For those facing a second offense, fines are up to $1,000 and prison sentences may be up to six months as well. Additionally, this sentence can be suspended, but only if 240 hours of community service are completed, if the person goes on probation, if he or she serves a minimum of 15 days in jail, if her or she participates in a substance abuse program and if he or she goes through a driver improvement program. Additionally, the court can order the use of an ignition interlock device or suspend your license depending on your BAC results.
Your attorney can help you fight these charges, so you can protect your reputation. There are ways to reduce charges or have the evidence against you made inadmissible. Our website has more information on what you can do if you’ve been charged with a DWI.