In Louisiana, the penalties you'll face for a DUI/OWI conviction depend mostly on the number of prior convictions you have. This article explains Louisiana's DUI/OWI laws and the penalties you'll face for a first, second, third, and felony conviction.
Louisiana law forbids a person from operating a motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft:
Louisiana counts all OWI convictions that occurred within 10 years of the most recent offense. A first OWI in 10 years is generally a misdemeanor and typically carries:
An OWI conviction involving a BAC of at least .15% carries a minimum of 48 hours in jail (even if probation is granted). A driver with a BAC of .20% or more must serve 48 hours in jail (even with probation), pay a fine of $750 to $1,000, and maintain an ignition interlock device (IID) for 12 months after license reinstatement.
A second OWI in 10 years is generally a misdemeanor and typically carries:
Drivers with a BAC of at least .15% who are granted probation must serve a minimum of 96 hours in jail. A driver with a BAC of .20% or more who is granted probation must serve 96 hours in jail, pay $1,000 in fines, and maintain an IID for 36 months.
A third OWI in 10 years is generally a felony and typically carries:
The court can suspend part of the jail sentence by placing the convicted person on probation for up to five years. But probation is not available to drivers who caused an injury accident or had a passenger under 13 years old when they committed their offense. Offenders who are granted probation must:
The judge can also order the vehicle used in the commission of the OWI to be seized by the state.
Louisiana's "implied consent" laws require all drivers lawfully arrested for operating under the influence to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test. Drivers who refuse testing face immediate license seizure and a suspension for the refusal.
Drivers who are under 21 years old with a BAC of .02% to .08% are subject to the state's underage OWI penalties.
First offense. A violator with no priors will face a $100 to $250 fine and ten days to three months jail. Offenders who are granted probation must complete at least 32 hours of community service, substance abuse treatment, and a driver improvement program.
Second offense. A second or subsequent underage OWI will result in a $250 to $500 fine and 30 days to six months jail. Offenders who are granted probation must serve two days in jail or 80 hours of community service, complete a substance abuse program, and complete a driver improvement program. The judge can also order the offender to maintain an IID during the probation period.
Driver's license. The driver's license will be suspended for 180 days.
Implied consent. Under Louisiana's implied consent law, any minor driver who an officer reasonably believes to have consumed alcohol must submit to a chemical test. An unlawful refusal will result in a one-year suspension for a first offense and a two-year suspension for a second offense.
If you've been arrested for a DUI/OWI in Louisiana, you should seek legal assistance. The consequences of an OWI conviction are serious, so having a qualified attorney by your side is crucial.