Driving while intoxicated is a crime in Louisiana that can accompany serious penalties. However, drivers who receive more than one DWI conviction can face even harsher consequences.
It is important for people who drive in Louisiana to understand the laws of the road and the possible impact of breaking them.
DWI charges in Louisiana
When a person operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content equal to or greater than .08%, law enforcement can arrest that individual for a DWI charge. Legal and illicit drugs can also contribute to intoxication. Police officers use sobriety evaluations as well as breath tests and blood tests to assess intoxication levels.
Drivers with a higher BAC may receive increased fines, more jail time and longer driver’s license suspension. Additionally, young people under 21 can receive a suspended license, mandatory community service, substance abuse treatment and fines up to $250 with a BAC of .02% or higher. Refusing testing can result in a suspended license also.
Consequences for multiple charges
If someone with one prior DWI conviction receives a second charge, that person could have to pay a fine between $750 and $1000. Furthermore, a second DWI can lead to 30 days to six months of jail time and a minimum six-month license suspension. During the suspension and probation, the driver can use an ignition interlock device to operate their car.
A third DWI offense might result in a felony charge. Having a felony record can negatively impact someone’s life and limit opportunities. In addition, a felony DWI charge often results in a jail sentence of up to five years and fines of up to $2000.
In Louisiana, a second or third DWI conviction can lead to life-changing consequences.