Driving while intoxicated is unsafe and may lead to a DWI conviction.
Louisiana identifies intoxication as driving under the influence of alcohol, controlled medication or illegal drugs. The maximum legal blood alcohol limit is .08 or more.
The state determines fines and penalties
The law identifies the penalties for DWI depending on blood alcohol levels and previous offenses. Subsequent violations within 10 years have more severe consequences.
- First offense (misdemeanor) – 10 days to six months in jail, a minimum of $600.00 in fines, 80 hours of community service, enrollment in substance abuse programs and driver’s education classes
- Second offense (misdemeanor) – a minimum of $750.00 in penalties, 30 days minimum jail or home incarceration, six months probation, driving classes and substance abuse programs
- Third offense (felony) – one to five years in jail, a maximum of five years probation, required inpatient substance abuse program, a fine of $2000.00 and an ignition lock on the offender’s vehicle
- Fourth offense (felony) – a minimum of 10 years in jail, 320 hours of community service, a maximum of five years of probation, inpatient substance abuse program and confiscation of the offender’s vehicle.
Additional penalties occur if the driver has children in the vehicle or is under 21.
A DWI conviction has long term ramifications
The consequences of a DWI conviction go beyond fines and sentences. Offenders may have difficulty obtaining employment due to background checks, car insurance rates might increase, and they may face revocation of their driver’s license.
Being aware of the long-term consequences of a DWI conviction may discourage people from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.