Laws in the state of Louisiana prohibit drivers from operating a motor vehicle if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than .08%. For the average person, it only takes approximately 3-4 drinks to reach that limit. Those who are found operating a motor vehicle above the legal limit can face a charge of driving under the influence, or DUI, an offense that carries substantial legal and civil consequences.
Individuals charged with a DUI are subject to a myriad of civil penalties depending on their specific case and offense. If you live in the state of Louisiana, you should understand the possible penalties that await you for choosing to drink and drive. The three most common civil penalties you can face after a DUI arrest are loss of driver’s license, time in jail, and costly fines.
Loss of Driver’s License
In Louisiana, the most common civil penalty after a DUI arrest is the loss of your license. Nearly every individual who commits the crime of driving under the influence has their license either suspended or revoked. The shortest amount of time you can lose your license is 90 days following a first offense. Many suspensions, however, last at least 365 days.
It’s important to note that if you have recently received a DUI, you have up to 15 days following your arrest to request a hearing in an attempt to retain your driving privileges. If you choose to do so, a trusted DUI attorney can be a helpful resource.
Time in Jail
Perhaps the most severe civil penalty you can face in the state of Louisiana as the result of a DUI is time in jail. The amount of time you’re required to serve depends on the number of times you’ve been arrested, your blood alcohol content at the time of your arrest, and if you committed any additional crimes while under the influence.
In the state of Louisiana, the minimum sentence you can serve as the result of a DUI arrest is 10 days. If granted probation, however, the minimum sentence may be reduced to as little as 48 hours with the requirement of additional community service.
Being charged with a DUI is not only extremely stressful, but also very expensive. Whether it is your first offense or your third, hefty fines accompany nearly every DUI arrest. The minimum penalty for a DUI in the state of Louisiana is $300. However, if you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence multiple times, the fines you will be required to pay range between $750-$2,000.
In addition to the fines imposed by the law, DUIs ring up expensive bills in other areas as well. If you receive a DUI, you can expect your auto insurance premiums to rise. You will be required to pay the cost for transportation (due to the loss of your driver’s license).
Although a trusted criminal defense lawyer will also cost you, obtaining one is the best chance you have of reducing the charges against you and the fines you face.
Enhanced DUI Charges in Louisiana
The minimum Blood Alcohol Content for a DUI Charge in Louisiana is .08. However, any time you receive a DUI and your blood alcohol level is higher than .15, or it’s your second or third DUI, you’re at risk of facing enhanced charges. Enhanced charges lead to increased penalties, meaning that you could face a longer period of incarceration and steeper fines.
You may face enhanced DUI charges in Louisiana if:
- You were arrested with a BAC of .15 or greater
- You were arrested with a BAC of .20 or greater
- You had a minor in your vehicle at the time of your DUI stop
For any DUI charges, a trusted criminal defense lawyer will be able to assist you. They will be able to examine the details of your case in an attempt to reduce the charges against you and the penalties you face. Details that can assist them in building a case for your defense include test results at the time of your arrest, eye-witness accounts of the incident, and information regarding your criminal history.
Experienced DUI Lawyers in Louisiana
If you’re facing a conviction for a DUI in the state of Louisiana, there’s no time to waste. For the best chance at a strong and effective defense, you should aim to retain a trusted DUI attorney within the first 30 days.
At Eric Johnson Law Firm, we are experienced in defending individuals facing DUI or DWI charges. As members of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, we understand what it takes to create a compelling case and will work hard for you and your defense.
To get started on your DUI case today, call our office at 318-377-1555 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation. We look forward to talking with you soon!