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First-time DUI offenses in Louisiana and your future

A DUI or DWI is treated very seriously in Louisiana, and even your first offense can have lasting repercussions. Because of the potential for first-time offenders to go to jail, defending yourself is vital in this state. One reason the state takes drinking and driving so seriously is the amount of deaths that take place as a result of it. For instance, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 10,839 people died in DUI-related accidents in 2009.

As a driver who has had a drink or two, you don't want to face charges for what you thought was a reasonable amount of alcohol to drink before driving. It's wise to check your blood alcohol content before you drive if you're not sure about how intoxicated you are, but generally speaking, it would take more than two drinks to become intoxicated enough to register above 0.08 percent.

If you're stopped and your blood alcohol content is above 0.08 percent, then you can face a number of penalties in Louisiana. If you caused an accident and were found to have been drunk at the time, you could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison for that incident.

On your first offense, you could risk losing your license for up to a year, and to get it reinstated, you'll have to pay $100. On top of that, you'll need to prove you have insurance every year for three years following the offense. If you're found guilty of a drunk driving crime and face criminal penalties on your first offense, you could go to jail for up to six months and be fined up to $1,000 for the charge.

Source:, "DUI & DWI in Louisiana," accessed March. 31, 2015

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