Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol results in serious legal penalties. Louisiana imposes these charges for blood alcohol content above 0.08% while behind the wheel.
Review the state statute for OWI/DWI before facing a court date for this offense. The law uses the term “operating while intoxicated” — or OWI — but most people know the charge as “DWI” or “DUI.”
Drivers who have no prior OWI convictions in the past decade could receive:
- $300 to $1,000 in fines
- At least 10 days and up to six months in jail
- Probation with an ignition interlock device in lieu of jail time at the judge’s discretion
- 90-day license suspension with possible hardship license
Drivers who receive probation must complete a driving education program, a drug and alcohol treatment program, and community service hours.
A conviction for the second OWI in the same 10-year period carries:
- $750 to $1,000 in fines
- At least 30 days and up to six months in jail
- Probation with an ignition interlock device in lieu of jail time
- One-year license suspension with no available hardship license
A subsequent OWI conviction in the same decade is a felony in Louisiana. A convicted person will receive:
- $3,000 in fines
- At least one and up to five years in jail
- Required ignition interlock device
- Possible seizure and sale of his or her registered vehicle
Certain OWI charges carry elevated penalties. For example, drivers receive a mandatory minimum jail sentence without the option for probation for BAC above 0.15%. Severe penalties also apply to OWI with a minor passenger and refusal to take a sobriety test at the scene of arrest.