If you’re facing a charge of driving under the influence in Louisiana, you’re probably nervous, scared, and wondering how your DUI arrest and charge will affect your current and future life. DUI in any state is serious business, and in Louisiana driving after drinking or using controlled substances is one of the main causes of car accidents.
The very first thing to do when you’re arrested for DUI is contact a Louisiana DUI attorney who has experience with these complex cases. The DUI lawyers at the Law Offices of J. Ransdell Keene in Shreveport have handled tough DUI cases for years, and their knowledge of DUI law in Louisiana is unsurpassed.
You’ll need a skilled attorney on your side to help fight the numerous penalties you’ll be facing even after your very first DUI conviction. The goal is, of course, to have the DUI charge dropped or dismissed, or, it your case must go before a judge, acquittal is always the goal. The tough penalties for a first DUI offense in the state of Louisiana are as follows:
- Jail time: First-time offenders of DUI in Louisiana face a minimum of ten days in jail or a maximum of up to six months with a mandatory two-day jail sentence if the offender has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.15% or higher. By participating in a substance abuse treatment program or community service program, suspended sentences may be offered. Also, the option of serving 48 hours in jail is sometimes offered. Each case is different, but none of these options is appealing, and jail time is downright terrifying for most first-time offenders.
- Suspension of Driving Privilege: If you’re pulled over for DUI and refuse a breath test, you will automatically lose your license for one year. If a fatality or serious injury resulted from driving under the influence, the driver’s license will be taken away, and no hardship license will be offered. Offenders under the age of 21 with a BAC of 0.02% or higher will lose their driver’s license for six months.
- Fines: For BAC levels of 0.08% or higher, the fine is between $300 and $1,000, and for a BAC of 0.2% or greater, the fine is $750 to $1,000.
- Restricted Drivers License: A restricted hardship license may be available immediately; an ignition interlock will be required for the time of the suspension period or for at least 12 months if convicted with a high BAC of 0.20% or more.
- Community Service: 32 hours of community service may be ordered for first-time offenders.
Enhanced penalties may occur on the first offense if any of these occur:
- Committing the offense with a BAC of .15% or higher
- Committing the offense wit a BAC of 0.20% or higher
- Committing the offense while a child 12 years of age or younger was in the vehicle
On your second and subsequent DUI offense, you can expect harsher penalties.