Louisiana residents know all too well how strong the state’s drunk driving laws have become over the past few years to combat the growing epidemic that killed 212 people in 2017 alone. Incidents of driving under the influence of alcohol caused roughly 10,847 fatalities nationally that same year, according to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA has worked closely with the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), to create a solution to this growing problem and start saving more lives.
Preventing Drunk Driving in Louisiana is Key
When one considers where Louisiana stands on its incidents of alcohol-related traffic deaths, it becomes apparent that despite renewed attempts to curb drunk driving, many don’t heed the warnings. MADD rated all U.S. states against one another for traffic deaths, and 30% of the state’s numbers were a result of intoxicated driving. Prevention measures have helped bring down the number of accidents, but the fatalities continue to rise.
Funding for increased public awareness initiatives and additional sobriety checkpoints during the holidays are just a couple of the ways state law enforcement and transportation officials have confronted the issue. Law enforcement would also like to see the DUI/DWI penalties increased, and the laws tightened to help keep impaired drivers off the road.
Currently, it is illegal for drivers over the age of 21 to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. Minors who drive with a count of 0.02 or above will also face charges that could devastate their future career or college plans if convicted.
Louisiana Laws Against Drunk Driving
In 2018, state legislators increased the penalties for DUI by increasing the cost of fines related to using the breathalyzer to $125. Judges received an extended probation option as well, which allows them to stretch a probationary period up to eight years if a defendant gets convicted for a third or higher DWI crime.
Louisiana also has an implied consent law which allows law enforcement to demand a breath, blood, or urine test if there is reasonable cause to suspect a driver of DUI. This law brings substantial consequences for drivers who refuse to submit to this type of testing, including license suspension for one year.
First-time drunk driving offenders face at least:
- Up to $1,000 fine
- Court costs
- Jail time of 10 days to 6 months
- Placement of an ignition interlock device (IID) in the vehicle
- Suspension of driving privileges for 90 days or more
For each subsequent offense, consequences are compounded with each conviction and will require a knowledgeable DUI attorney to help minimize and negotiate for minimum sentencing. The long-term negative impact on one’s life, career, and finances should act as a serious deterrent against getting behind the wheel drunk.
Hire a Reputable Louisiana DUI Attorney
Whether you refused to blow during a DUI stop or caused an accident because you were under the influence while driving on Louisiana roadways, hiring a seasoned DUI defense attorney will make all the difference in your case. Consulting with an expert like attorney Eric G. Johnson is critical to protecting your rights during the criminal trial process and minimizing the sentencing handed down if convicted.
Eric Johnson brings more than 25 years of successful defense experience to all of his clients facing DWI/DUI in Louisiana. He and his team at the John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm have the knowledge and skills necessary to get started on your case right away, building a solid defense. The sooner you work with Eric, the more he will be able to minimize the impact of a DWI on your record. Call 318-225-8092 for a free and confidential consultation or request more information online.