A Louisiana DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is also called a DWI (Driving While under the Influence). There is no difference between dui and dwi; you face the possibility of jail time, fines, the loss of your driver’s license, community service, and participation in counseling and educational programs either way. And you can face dui charges if you are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
You can be charged with a dui if you are an adult and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is.08. For drivers under the age of 21, however, a BAC of.02 is the legal limit. If you are underage and charged with your first dui, you will be fined from $100 to $250, and lose your license for 180 days. Participation in both a court-approved driver improvement and substance abuse program is mandatory. And there is a possibility your sentence will be suspended with probation. However, if your BAC is.10 or greater, you will be subject to the same penalties as if you were an adult.
For drivers holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL), a BAC of.04 is considered a dui. Your CDL will be suspended for one year if you are convicted of DUI in Louisiana, or if you refused a chemical test. And your CLD will be suspended for three years if you were hauling hazardous materials at the time of the dui. Finally, your CDL will be permanently revoked for any subsequent convictions.
Although the first offenses are usually misdemeanors, you may be charged with a felony if you’ve had two prior Louisiana DUI convictions within the past ten years. Your first dui offense brings a jail sentence of from 10 days to six months, fines, plus all fees and court costs of from $300 to $1,000, a 90-day mandatory loss of your driver’s license (you will not be eligible for a hardship license for the first 30 days), 32 hours of community service, as well as the completion of alcohol education classes. However, some or all of the mandatory minimums can be substituted if you participate in substance abuse and driver improvement programs, in conjunction with community service. But if minors 12 years old or younger are in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, the minimum mandatory sentence cannot be suspended. And if your BAC is.15 or higher, you must serve at least 48 hours in jail without the possibility of parole, probation or suspension of your sentence.
After you’ve been arrested for a dui, you only have 15 days in which to request a hearing with the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. If you fail to do so, your license will be suspended. Many dui defense attorneys can offer you dui help on how to navigate this process.