Articles Posted in DUI/DWI

In some states, a serious and/or fatal drunk-driving accident might allow you to go after the person or entity that served alcohol to the person who eventually drove drunk. In Louisiana, though, the law makes it relatively difficult to win a case where you sue the provider of alcohol in a situation like that.

So, you might suspect that, if you’re hurt (or a loved one killed) by a drunk driver, your options are very limited, probably allowing you only to pursue the driver and her insurer? Not necessarily! Each case has its own unique and sometimes peculiar facts. Having the Louisiana personal injury attorney you need to do the proper in-depth discovery required can be essential to a full recovery. Sometimes those unique and/or peculiar facts may shed extra light on the events leading to the crash and may open the door to other avenues of recovery.

On July 19, 2018, the court ordered our client’s driver’s license be reinstated because he was improperly arrested at a DWI checkpoint on Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. DWI checkpoints on Tchoupitoulas Street are frequently conducted by the New Orleans Police Department, in part, because their station is nearby which makes transportation of the arrested fairly quick and easy.

Learn more about DWI rights-related cases.

At Cardone Law Firm, we believe that people should never be forced to deal with the injuries and costly medical expenses that come with an accident caused by a drunk driver. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents happen all-too-often in the state of Louisiana. In the aftermath of an accident, innocent victims are left to deal with the consequences.

When you are arrested for a drinking and driving (DWI), there are two separate tracks – a criminal track and an administrative track. The criminal track concerns fines, penalties, and potential jail time while the administrative track deals with the suspension of your driver’s license. The suspension of a driver’s license always presents a difficult situation, but this is especially true if your job requires you to operate a commercial motor vehicle or you have a Class A, B, or C Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

When someone engages in improper conduct that injures you or a loved one, you’ll need to clear several hurdles to obtain compensation. Sometimes, the specific hurdles in your case may appear extraordinarily challenging or even impossible. Fortunately, though, many cases provide multiple different avenues for securing a verdict and damages award in your favor. With skilled counsel, you may be able to clear what seem like insurmountable obstacles. A case involving a tragic auto accident from Central Louisiana provides an illustration of this point.
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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.

Each DWI case is unique in its own way. A first-offense DWI charge contains its own set of challenges for the accused driver that are different from those faced by drivers accused of second-, third-, or fourth-offense DWI. In one recent case originating in Jefferson Parish, a man convicted of misdemeanor first-offense DWI lost opportunities to challenge the way the state prosecuted his case because he did not follow the correct court procedures or observe the court rules, which led the Louisiana Court of Appeal to leave his conviction in place.

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The Louisiana Court of Appeal recently refused to throw out a man’s conviction on third-offense DWI despite his arguments that one of his prior convictions should not have counted against him in his current case. Although there were certain things the judge in the previous case did not tell the man about criminal law and trial procedure, none of those pieces of information was required by the Constitution, so the conviction was properly included as part of the basis for the man’s current charge.

Damion Billups’ most recent DWI case began when a state trooper observed him speeding along a rural road in Northeastern Louisiana. When the trooper stopped the driver, he thought the driver appeared intoxicated, put him through some field sobriety tests, and, based on those results, arrested the man for DWI. The state charged the matter as a third-offense DWI, since Billups had two previous DWI convictions, one each in 2008 and 2010. The driver challenged the charge brought against him, arguing that his 2010 plea was unconstitutional and that this offense should not count against him. After the trial judge concluded that both prior offenses were validly counted against the man, Billups entered a conditional guilty plea and was sentenced to one year of hard labor.

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The Louisiana Supreme Court recently upheld a driver’s conviction and sentence to 25 years of hard labor for DWI, fourth offense, even though the jury in the driver’s trial consisted of only six people. The high court’s decision clarified that, in situations like this, when the driver’s mandatory hard labor sentence only arose from a multiple-offender sentencing enhancement, and the crime charged on the original indictment contained a range of possible sentences both with or without hard labor, the trial court’s empaneling of a six-person jury was not an error and did not require giving the driver a new trial.

The events leading up to this decision started with a traffic stop in Bogalusa in 2011. A state trooper pulled over a pickup truck that had been weaving erratically down the road. The driver, Gerald Dahlem, smelled of alcohol, slurred his speech, and displayed glassy, bloodshot eyes. A blood alcohol level test revealed that Dahlem’s BAC was .180.

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While it may not be common, there are certain circumstances when Louisiana law allows a private citizen to stop another citizen for a suspected violation of the law. In a decision from last fall, the Louisiana Court of Appeal concluded that this aspect of the law made the stop of a suspected drunk driver legal, even though the citizen who made the stop was an employee of a fire department who used his vehicle’s emergency lights to make the stop and used physical force to restrain the driver at the scene.

At first, most of the facts of the case may sound fairly ordinary. Detective Darryl Sanders was driving his marked SUV early on June 18, 2011, when he spotted a white Ford Ranger proceeding in an erratic fashion north of Baton Rouge. Sanders turned on his lights and pulled the vehicle over. The driver, Michael Pratt, exhibited slurred speech and was belligerent toward Sanders. Sanders used physical force to restrain Pratt. Deputy Scott Courrege also responded and administered field sobriety tests, which the driver failed. Pratt refused a chemical breathlyzer test and ultimately was arrested for DWI.

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