New Orleans may be known as The Big Easy, but one thing that won’t be easy is retaining your driving privileges after you have been arrested for DWI in the city. Residents of NOLA know how to party and they have the accolades to prove it.
A 2007 CNN poll ranked New Orleans as the number 1 city in the United States for live music, cocktail hours, nightlife, “wild weekends”, and cheap eats. Unfortunately, another area that the residents of Louisiana have gained top honors in is that of alcohol related traffic fatalities.
Louisiana leadership is not taking this lying down so they have formed the Governor’s Task Force in an effort to address both the high incidence of impaired driving and the issue of drivers with multiple DWI offenses. When he was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on DWI-Vehicular Homicide, State Representative Jonathan Perry said, “Even though we rank 21st in the country in population, we rank seventh in the nation in the number of alcohol-related fatalities.”
In response to this initiative, law enforcement agencies through out the state are dedicated to removing drunk drivers from the streets and waterways, and those who are convicted will face much tougher penalties.
If you have been arrested for DWI in the New Orleans area, the worst thing you can do is to discount the seriousness of your situation. Your best response is to consult an experienced DWI attorney to review your case and recommend the best actions for your unique situation.
First time DWI offenders in Louisiana face fines of between $300 and $1000, a license suspension of at least 90 days, and jail time between 10 days and 6 months. There is an opportunity for your sentence to be suspended if certain conditions are met. First offenders will be eligible for a hardship license during the license suspension. The hardship license will restrict the times and routes that the driver may operate a motor vehicle.
At the time of your arrest you were asked to submit to a chemical test to determine the concentration of alcohol in your bloodstream. This test requires either a breath or blood sample.
You have the right to refuse this test, but if you do your license suspension will increase to 180 days and you will not be eligible for a hardship license for 90 days.
First offenders have the opportunity to reduce their sentences by agreeing to participate in alcohol treatment programs or by performing community service. All of the consequences for DWI in Louisiana will affect you for many years to come. In order to ensure the best outcome in your DWI case, you should secure the advice of a qualified DWI lawyer without delay.