First Offense DWI in Louisiana

Louisiana takes a conservative approach to DUIs (referred to as DWI or OWI in Louisiana). This includes mandatory jail time for first offenders (which is often served out by performing community service). Below are the penalties for adult first offenders with a valid, private driver’s license. Penalties are more severe if the driver's BAC is above .15 or worse, if over .20%. Penalties may also increase if the driver is underage, if the driver had a commercial license, or if there was a minor in the car.

Administrative Penalties

  • First offense DWI in Louisiana results in administrative license suspension of ninety (90) days
  • Reinstatement following first offense DWI is not contingent upon use of ignition interlock device in Louisiana, but may require attendance and completion of alcohol/substance abuse assessment and education program

Criminal Penalties

How Much Will it Cost?

To get an idea of how much a first offense DUI will cost you, see our article on the cost of a DUI.

  • Convictions of first offense DWI in Louisiana have a mandatory minimum period of incarceration of two (2) days, with potential to serve out this mandatory sentence in the form of community service. However, in first offense cases, maximum penalty faced is six (6) months
  • Fines for first offense convictions are between $300 and $1,000 in Louisiana, but the fine amount does not cover court costs, fees, and other surcharges incurred during completion of terms of sentence or during reinstatement of license
  • Convictions of first offense DWI in Louisiana influence charges and sentencing in future DWI arrests for a period of ten (10) years

Getting Legal Help

For more information and insight into first offense DWI defense in Louisiana, including whether the case-specific nature of your case may present the opportunity for reduction of charges into lesser criminal or non-criminal convictions as a plea option, consult with a Louisiana DWI lawyer.


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