Understanding DUI and DWI Repercussions in Louisiana

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In Louisiana, driving under the influence or DUI and driving while intoxicated or DWI are considered serious offenses. Several factors can impact the charged person’s penalties, including the blood alcohol content and previous similar offenses.

Considering how serious a DUI or DWI charge can be, it is important for anyone facing this case to have excellent legal representation. The Law Office of Christopher Stahl can represent you as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Shreveport, Louisiana. We are also sharing some helpful information on the topic so you can have a deeper understanding of it:

What Is Considered DUI or DWI in Louisiana?

Based on Louisiana Driving Laws, here are the Blood Alcohol Content limits set when driving a vehicle:

  • Drivers must have a BAC of no higher than 0.08%
  • Commercial drivers should have a BAC of no higher than 0.04%
  • Minor drivers (those who are below 21 years old) should have a BAC of no higher than 0.02%

If the BAC is over the set limits, there is a DUI or DWI violation. The driver is then subject to criminal prosecution. The charge is on top of other unlawful acts that may have occurred in the same incident.

Are DUI and DWI Considered a Misdemeanor or Felony?

In Louisiana, DUI and DWI belong in between a misdemeanor and a felony charge. The first and second offenses of either DUI or DWI are considered misdemeanors, while the third offense and the other ones after that are considered a felony.

What are the Penalties for Misdemeanor for the First DUI/DWI Offense in Louisiana?

A person with a first DUI/DWI offense is considered a misdemeanor in Louisiana, and these penalties may be imposed:

  • $300 to $1000 fine
  • Jail sentence between 10 days to 6 months
  • Driver’s license suspension for 12 months
  • Restricted driver’s license from the time of the arrest
  • Mandatory IID installation on the driver’s automobile

If the driver’s BAC is higher than 0.20%, a fine of $750 to $1000 may be imposed, and the license could be suspended for two years. Other penalties like community service and mandatory attendance to court-approved programs for substance abuse and driver improvement may also be ordered.

What are the Penalties for Misdemeanor for Second DUI/DWI Offense in Louisiana?

A second DUI or DWI offense still falls into the category of a misdemeanor in Louisiana and can get the following sentence:

  • $750 to $1000 fine
  • Jail sentence between 30 days to six months
  • Probation of up to six months with at least 48 hours served in jail
  • Mandatory community service of 240 hours or more
  • Mandatory attendance to court-approved programs for driver improvement and substance abuse

An offender with a 0.20% BAC is required to serve at least 96 hours in jail, pay a $1000 fine, and will be required to install an IID for at least three years while their license will be suspended for five years.

What Are the Penalties for a Felony Charge for Third DUI/DWI Offense?

The court can impose the following sentence for the third DUI or DWI offense which is considered a felony:

  • $2000 fine
  • One to five years of imprisonment with one year served without suspension of sentence.
  • Probation of up to five years, one of which is served in jail
  • Mandatory community service no less than 240 hours
  • Mandatory attendance to court-approved programs for substance abuse and driver improvement
  • Required testing for substance abuse to determine the nature and extent of the offender’s substance use, plus mandatory inpatient substance abuse treatment for one month and outpatient treatment for up to one year
  • Mandatory installation of IID on all vehicles that the offender may drive

What Are the Penalties for a Felony for Fourth (or Succeeding) DUI or DWI Offense?

As mentioned, any DUI or DWI offense beyond the second time is considered a felony. The fourth and succeeding offenses, however, have harsher penalties:

  • $5000 fine
  • At least ten years (up to 30 years) of imprisonment
  • Probation of up to five years
  • Mandatory community service of at least 320 hours
  • Required substance abuse test
  • Required substance abuse inpatient treatment for one month plus one year of outpatient therapy

Get Help from an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Bossier City

Conclusion

As you can see, DUI and DWI should be taken seriously by all drivers in Louisiana because the penalties are severe. If you or your loved one is facing charges for DUI or DWI, you need to ensure that you get the best DUI attorney in Shreveport to help you out.

Christopher M. Stahl is one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Shreveport, Louisiana, specializing in DUI and DWI. Contact the Law Office of Christopher M. Stahl to find out how we can provide you with legal assistance.

Contact us by filling out the form below.

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