Louisiana DUI 101

Drinking and driving is against the law, and if you happen to make that mistake while in the Gulf of Mexico, beware of Louisiana DUI laws.

What Qualifies as a Louisiana DUI

As in most states, a blood alcohol content level, or BAC, of .08 percent is all it takes for a general driver aged 21 or over to be considered legally intoxicated while driving in Louisiana. If you are a commercial driver, the corresponding figure is .04 percent. Anyone under the legal age of 21 only needs a BAC of .02 percent while behind the wheel to be considered intoxicated.

Louisiana Penalties

A first Louisiana DUI conviction could land you in jail for a minimum of two days and up to a maximum of six months. You could also be looking at a $1,000 fine. Your license could also be suspended for 90 days, and if you’re under 21, you could have your license suspended for six months.

If you’re convicted of a second DUI, you’re looking at a mandatory 48 hours in jail and could see up to six months of jail time, as well as a $1,000 fine. A second conviction could also leave you with your license suspended for one year.

A third DUI conviction in Louisiana is considered a felony offense. It also comes with a minimum stay of 45 days in jail, leading up to a total of five years. There is a possibility of home incarceration after the mandatory sentence of 45 days is served. You could also be looking at a fine of $2,000 and a two-year suspension of your license. A court could also issue a six-week inpatient substance abuse program and 30 days of community service.

If you are convicted of a fourth DUI in Louisiana, it is considered a felony offense. It carries a mandatory sentence of 75 days in jail, with a maximum sentence of 30 years. A $5,000 fine is also a possibility, and your license could be suspended for two years. The state of Louisiana could also seize your vehicle and sell it. Additionally, a court could assign you to 40 days of community service and a six-week inpatient substance abuse program.

Implied Consent Law

Like many other states, Louisiana has an Implied Consent Law. That means if you refuse to take a chemical test after being stopped by a peace officer on suspicion of driving under the influence, you could be subject to a fine, jail time and an automatic license suspension.

The first time you refuse to take a chemical test in Louisiana, you could be looking at your license being revoked for six months, as well as two days in jail or 48 hours of community service.

A second refusal of a chemical test could land you in jail for 30 days, or two days in jail and 30 days of community service, as well as cause you to have your license revoked for six months.

A third refusal of a chemical test gives you automatic jail time of 45 days.

Many states are cracking down hard on DUI offenders and Louisiana isn’t any different. Remember, it’s far wiser to just hand the keys over to someone else than drive drunk and end up with a life-altering Louisiana DUI.