Louisiana DWI & DUI Laws
Louisiana has strict drinking and driving laws to protect its roads. You can be convicted of a DWI or driving while impaired if you are caught driving with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08% or higher. Penalties and punishments vary based on degree of BAC levels, multiple offense and other factors.
Legal limit in Louisiana:
- Standard, non-commercial drivers: 0.08% BAC
- Commercial drivers: 0.04% BAC
- Drivers under 21: 0.02% BAC
Penalties, Fines, & Suspension
|Louisiana DUI & DWI Penalties, Fines, & Suspension|
|Penalty||1st offense||2nd offense||3rd offense||4th offense|
|Sentence||2 days to 6 months||30 days to 6 months||45 days to 5 years||75 days to 30 years|
|Driver’s License Suspension||90 days||1 year||2 years||2 years|
Chemical Test Refusal
Due to Louisiana’s implied consent law, offenders who refuse a chemical test could be subject to harsh punishments. The law states that anyone arrested for drinking and driving is required to submit a blood, urine or breath sample to test BAC levels. Failure to do so will result in the following punishments and could result in the requirement of an IID in your vehicle.
1st offense: 6 month license revocation
2nd offense: 6 month license revocation
3rd offense: Jail sentence of at least 2 days
An ignition interlock device (IID) may be required to regain your license and driving rights after convicted of a DWI in Louisiana. First offenders with a BAC of .08 to .14 must have the device installed in their car for 6 months. The IID will be required for 2 years if you were convicted with a child in the car, had a BAC of .15 or greater or threatened the healthy or life of another person due to drinking and driving. An IID is a device connected to a vehicle ignition preventing driving without a legal blood alcohol level.
A DWI conviction in Louisiana will stay on a person’s criminal record for 10 years before it can be removed. During this time prior DWI’s will be used against you if another drinking and driving arrest occurs resulting in an increased punishment.
Consuming alcohol under the age 21 is illegal without a legal guardian’s consent in Louisiana. If caught underage drinking and driving, a minor will suffer harsh penalties under any circumstance. A minor pulled over with a BAC of .02% or greater will be penalized with 2 days to 6 months jail time, a fine no more than $1,000 as well as a license suspension of 90 days. These punishments will increase with multiple convictions within 10 years.
DWI with a Child Passenger
Drinking and driving with a child passenger under the age of 12 in the car is considered child endangerment in Louisiana. A first offense will result in a 10 day jail sentence and a $125 fine. The punishment increases with the second offense with a 30 day jail sentence and a $300 fine and so on with each offense.
More on LA DWI Laws:
Louisiana Department of Transportation: Breaking Down the DWI Arrest: http://wwwsp.dotd.la.gov/Inside_LaDOTD/Divisions/Multimodal/Highway_Safety/SafetySummit_Day3/Breaking%20Down%20The%20DWI%20Arrest.pdf
Center for Disease Control: Louisiana Drunk Driving Fact Sheet: http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pdf/impaired_driving/drunk_driving_in_la.pdf