In the state of Louisiana, it is illegal for you to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated. However, the consequences of a DWI can vary depending on the circumstances.
Higher levels of intoxication, additional offenses and prior charges can impact the outcome of your DWI case.
Previous DWI charges
First-time DWI offenders tend to face less severe penalties than people with two or more previous convictions. For example, an initial DWI charge can result in fines between $300 and $1000. Additionally, an offender might receive a sentence of 10 days to six months. In many cases, first-time DWI offenders do not have to serve any jail time at all beyond the initial arrest. However, a second DWI charge could lead to higher fines, a longer sentence and the use of an ignition interlock device. A third DWI can result in a felony charge on your record and up to five years in jail.
Blood alcohol concentration
In Louisiana, driving with a blood alcohol concentration over .08 is not legal and can lead to a DWI arrest. However, if your BAC is above .15, you could face at least 48 hours in jail. In addition, a BAC over .20 can result in a suspended license, an ignition interlock device and greater fines. You could face a suspended license if you refuse to submit to chemical testing, including breath and blood tests. Multiple refusals could lead to criminal charges.
Drivers under 21 can face license suspensions, probation and fines for driving with a BAC of .02 or higher. Furthermore, if you drive while intoxicated and you have a passenger under the age of 13, you could receive a jail sentence for endangering a child.
Depending on your previous record and level of intoxication, the consequences of your DWI case could range from fines and probation to a lengthy license suspension and jail time.