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Ignition interlock device requirements in Louisiana

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2019 | Drunk Driving, Firm News |

It is well known in Louisiana and elsewhere that drinking and driving is dangerous. It is not only a reckless behavior that causes car accidents each year but also a serious situation that could result in a motorist facing harsh penalties. While some may not view a drunk driving charge like they would other criminal offenses, it is important to understand how a DUI conviction could impact one’s life.

In the state of Louisiana, if an individual is convicted of a DUI, they could face a wide range of consequences. One of these is the requirement of having an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. This device detects alcohol in the driver’s breath and is connected to the vehicle’s engine ignition system. Thus, if it detects a blood alcohol level that exceeds the preset level, the engine will not start.

These devices are required in five different situations in the state of Louisiana. The first is when there is a crash with moderate to serious bodily injury at the time of the arrest for a DUI. The second is when there is a DUI arrest and there is a child age 12 or younger in the vehicle at the time. The third is when a motorist has a prior violation. The fourth is when the driver had a suspended license for a DUI and it was reinstated. The final situation is if the driver had a restricted hardship license.

Because each traffic stop is different, each drunk driving charge should be looked at individually. This means that the factors involved in the stop and arrest could help the motorist initiate a defense. If a stop was not lawful, the field sobriety test was not conducted properly, the breathalyzer was not properly calibrated or other steps were missed, this could give reason to suppress evidence. This could help with the reduction or dismissal of the charges.