Louisiana Drunk Driving Attorney - DUI Lawyer - DWI Lawyer
In Louisiana it is a crime for a person to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. State laws define the offense by a driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle if impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs or prescribed medications and even over-the-counter medications that may cause drowsiness and impair driving. Established DUI standards for blood alcohol concentration levels (BAC) are different in every state.
All states have adopted the "Per Se" BAC level at or above .08 as being intoxicated in the eyes of the law. Louisiana law penalizes anyone under the age of 21 with any trace of alcohol or slight BAC levels of .02 in their systems. This is called "zero tolerance" law, targeting underage drinking. Even harsher penalties are in place in Louisiana for DUI offenders with high BAC levels of .15 or more, with possible jail time and driver's license penalties.
Louisiana law can require a driver suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol to a breath test or urine test. If the person refuses to take these tests, the law can carry a penalty of a suspended driver's license for six months to a year. This is called an "Implied Consent Law".
If an officer makes a vehicle stop because he suspects that the driver may be intoxicated, often he will conduct a "field sobriety" test on the driver, and may ask for consent to some form of chemical test for identifying intoxication. Field sobriety tests might include walking a straight line, reciting the alphabet backwards or shining the driver's eyes with a penlight for signs of alcohol impairment. Law enforcement officers have used field sobriety tests (FST) to detect impairment and to develop probable cause for arrest.
Chemical tests may also be conducted at the check point or stop. A "Breathalyzer" test measures a driver's blood-alcohol concentration (BAC), whereas urine and blood tests will be performed at a hospital or . Many states allow a suspected of DUI driver to choose which type of chemical test is given.
As far as the validity of blood alcohol tests is concerned, alcohol blood tests are the most accurate method in use today for testing a person's blood alcohol content.
Keep in mind, in most states refusal to submit to a chemical test may be used to enforce higher penalties if the person is eventually convicted for DUI.
A conviction for DUI or DWI may result in the following:
- Loss of License
- Jail Time
- Large Fines
- Marks Against Your License
- Increased Insurance Rates
A DUI conviction may involve fines, jail time, probation, and/or community service. Some laws impose minimum penalties for first-time offenders, with increased penalties for each offense thereafter. Criminal penalties will vary according to the circumstance of the offenses.
Criminal penalties can be affected by:
- Under the legal age to drink
- A history of DUI violations
- A violation occurred with a child in the car
- A violation occurred while driving a commercial vehicle
- An accident occurred due to the violation, causing injury or property damage
Have you been arrested and charged with a DUI or DWI offense? If so, contact our Louisiana Drunk Driving Attorney for a Free Case Evaluation now to insure that your legal rights are protected!