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DUI in Louisiana

DWI in Louisiana

Louisiana drivers who are arrested for a DWI will face severe penalties. Call a Louisiana DWI attorney today for help. Louisiana DWI lawyers understand Louisiana's DWI laws, and they can make sure drivers understand their options for fighting a DWI charge.

If this is your first, second or third DWI charge, a DWI lawyer can help. Do not try to fight this by yourself. Call a DWI criminal defense attorney.

It is against the law for any driver to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Louisiana with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. A driver is considered drunk at this level and even if they do not display any signs of intoxication, it is a violation of Louisiana's per se DWI law.

Drivers may also be arrested for a DWI in Louisiana if their BAC is below the legal BAC limit but an officer determines they are physically or mentally impaired and unable to properly operate their vehicle. Louisiana police offers are trained to look for certain behaviors before traffic stops including: swerving, erratic driving, driving in the wrong lane and driving too slowly. Police officers also analyze a person's mental and physical capacities after a traffic stop. Slurred speech, stumbling, alcoholic odor, all of these factors may indicate a driver is intoxicated. Police can also gather evidence from a field sobriety test.

Penalties for DWI in Louisiana


First DWI offense
(No DWI arrest with in the last 5 years)

  • Required jail sentence of up to 6 months
  • Suspended license for 90 days- if the driver's BAC is 0.08% or greater. Drivers may apply for a hardship license after 30 days.
  • Required to pay fines of $1,000, plus additional court costs
  • Mandatory purchase of Louisiana SR22 Insurance
  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device

Second DWI offense
  • Minimum 48 hour jail term with a maximum of 6 months
  • Revoked drivers license for 1 year. A restricted license may be allowed under certain conditions.
  • Required to pay fines of $1,000 plus additional court costs
  • Mandatory purchase of Louisiana SR22 Insurance
  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device

Third DWI offense
It is a felony offense if the conviction is with in 10 years of a previous DWI conviction.
  • Minimum 30 day jail term with a maximum of 1 to 5 years in the Louisiana state prison
  • Revoked drivers license for 2 years -- a restricted license may be allowed under certain conditions.
  • Required to pay fines of $2,000 plus additional court costs
  • Mandatory purchase of Louisiana SR22 Insurance
  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
  • The court may seize the driver's vehicle
  • Mandatory attendance at a drug or alcohol program for 6 weeks (inpatient) or 12 months (outpatient). House arrest for the rest of the driver's jail sentence.
  • If the court gives the driver probation, they are required to do community service for 240 hours

Fourth DWI offense
Felony offense
  • Minimum 75 day jail term with a maximum of 30 years in the Louisiana state prison
  • Revoked drivers license for 2 years - restricted license may be allowed under certain conditions
  • Required to pay fines of $5,000, plus additional court costs
  • Mandatory purchase of Louisiana SR22 Insurance
  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
  • The court may seize the driver's vehicle
  • Mandatory attendance at a drug or alcohol inpatient program for 6 weeks and a 12 month outpatient program. Mandatory house arrest for five years after completion of the program.
  • If the court gives the driver probation, they are required to do community service for 320 hours

Hiring a Louisiana DWI Attorney
Unfortunately, even penalties for the first DWI offense can be severe. If you plan to plead guilty you may not need an attorney, but it is always a good idea to talk to a DWI attorney before you make any decisions about your DWI case. A DWI conviction can have life-long implications for you and your family.