When visiting another state for work or vacation, it’s easy to get caught up in the fun of the trip. In Louisiana specifically, festivals such as Mardi Gras are the perfect opportunity to have a little too much fun and make decisions you might regret. Unfortunately, if any of the decisions you make are against the law, you’re still liable to face charges as a visitor.
In the state of Louisiana, the criminal offense of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) occurs at an alarming rate and is one of the most common charges out-of-state visitors face. According to the CDC, more people admit to driving after drinking too much alcohol in Louisiana than in many other states.
If you’ve recently received a DUI ticket in the state of Louisiana but reside somewhere else, here’s what you can expect to happen.
DUI Charges in Louisiana
No matter what state you call home, if you face arrest for driving under the influence in Louisiana, you’ll be required to face charges for your offense. The law, as it pertains to all individuals who are residents of or are visiting Louisiana, is outlined in the Louisiana Code of Law Section 14:98 – Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.
Section 14:98 states that “The crime of operating a vehicle while intoxicated is the operating of any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, vessel, or other means of conveyance when…
- The driver is under the influence of alcoholic beverages.
- The operator’s BAC is .08% or more.
- The operator is under the influence of any controlled substance listed in Schedule I-V.
- The operator is under the influence of alcohol and one or more drugs not listed in Schedule I-V.
Louisiana penalties for first-time offenders include:
- Minimum fines of $300
- Time in jail
- Suspension of your driving privileges
If it’s your second or third offense, the civil penalties you may face will likely intensify, costing you more time in jail and more money out of your pocket. As a visitor to the state of Louisiana, a trusted attorney will be able to assist you in building a solid defense case no matter how many offenses you have or the specific charges you face.
If you did not know you were consuming specific substances or if you have no prior convictions for a DUI, there is great potential for reduced charges with the help of an experienced attorney. Furthermore, obtaining an attorney to aid in your defense will also help to reduce the number of times you need to go back to Louisiana for court and reduce the number of complicated forms and processes you need to complete on your own.
DUI Charges in Your Home State
In any state, driving under the influence is considered a severe offense. Therefore, the crime is not only chargeable in the state where you received the ticket, but also in your home state. For example, if you live in Illinois but are charged with a DUI in the state of Louisiana, according to the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, your license can be suspended in both states.
The Interstate Driver’s License Compact was created to provide communication between states regarding licensing and driving offenses. According to the compact, for you to be subject to civil penalties for a DUI in both Louisiana and your home state, there are a few requirements.
- Laws in both states must be similar
- Punishments in both states must be similar
- Your conviction must include enough details to convict you in your home state
A Trusted Louisiana DUI Attorney Can Help
In Louisiana, you have up to 15 days to file your case in an attempt to keep your driving privileges. Likewise, there are additional time limits regarding court appearances that can help you to reduce the penalties you receive as the result of a DUI. Therefore, contacting a trusted attorney as soon as possible after you’re arrested is one of the most proactive things you can do for your defense.
A DUI attorney in Louisiana will be able to inform you of the potential charges you face in Louisiana and your home state. Furthermore, they’ll likely be able to aid in your defense in both locations.
If you’ve recently been convicted of a DUI in Louisiana, the attorneys at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm are here for you. With our years of experience and membership in the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, we understand the intricacies of Louisiana laws and how your conviction will be upheld in other states and will work hard to do everything we can in your defense.
Don’t delay! Call our local offices today at 318-377-1555 or fill out our online contact form today for your free consultation.