Drinking and driving occurs all too often, especially in the state of Louisiana. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, more commonly known as MADD, there were 5,339 arrests in Louisiana last year for DWIs. According to a national poll conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Louisiana ranks well above average in citizens who report driving after drinking too much. Impaired driving has become a growing national concern over recent years spawning new legislation increasing the penalties for driving while intoxicated. This article will provide you with a overview on a Louisiana DWI and the penalties you can expect to face if arrested for a DWI.
A special law in Louisiana governs DWIs: Louisiana Revised Statute 14:98. A person is considered to be driving while intoxicated in Louisiana if their blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) is ) 0.08% or higher. Interestingly, about 7 years ago a court in Louisiana also determined that even an “attempted” DWI is a crime.
If you drink and drive, there are penalties. These penalties come in the form of fines, jail time, license restrictions and court ordered programs.The penalties associated with drinking and driving vary according to the extent of the individuals’ BAC and the number of past offenses the individual has. For example, the penalties a first time offender will face are less stringent than the penalties a second time offender will face. There are specific laws in Louisiana which govern the penalties for each offense:
- First Offense: La. R.S. 14:98.1
- Second Offense: La. R.S. 14:98.2
- Third Offense: La. R.S. 14:98.3
- Fourth Offense: La. R.S. 14:98.4
These specific laws are very detailed. The Cardone Law Firm has created the following infographic to use to illustrate DWI penalties in Louisiana as they pertain to each specific offense. The infographic should only be consulted as a general guide:
HOW AN ATTORNEY CAN HELP
Along with the prescribed penalties in Louisiana one faces when charged with a DWI, come other considerations that many may not know. Some professions have penalties which can be imposed by their specific regulatory boards. Boards which govern health care professionals impose penalties for those members of the profession who are charged with a DWI. For example, the Louisiana State Board of Nursing retains the right to discipline nurses who are arrested and convicted for DWI, and even a first offense can warrant the suspension of a nurse’s license to practice for a certain period of time. For professional athletes a “morals clause” in their contract may be implicated if it prohibits certain behavior such as drinking and driving while intoxicated.
There are so many alternatives to ensuring your safety and the safety of others before you get behind the wheel intoxicated: catch a cab, Uber, Lyft, ride with a sober friend or call a loved one. However, we are all human and prone to make mistakes, and if you find yourself arrested for a DWI, you must weigh the options available to you. Options for those charged with DWIs may include such tools as a diversion program which can remove the arrest and charge from your criminal record. Talking to an attorney upon whom you can rely for knowledgeable advice and zealous representation is always a good idea at such a stressful time. The attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm have years of experience defending individuals who have been charged with DWIs, for a free and confidential consultation call 504-522-3333, 1-888-89-CARDONE (1-888-892-2736) or visit them online.