Third Offense DWI in Louisiana

A third offense DUI (also referred to as a DWI) is measured by an important time period – ten years -- known (known as the look back or wash out period) -- that is, if this is your third DUI within ten years, you will be subject to certain criminal penalties, as explained below

Third Offense DUI

Below are the penalties for adult first offenders with a valid, private driver’s license. Louisiana DWI penalties range in severity based on a number of factors as explained below. In Louisiana, a third offense DUI within ten years is classified as a felony.

Administrative and Judicial Penalties

Administrative penalties for third offense DUI in Louisiana include the suspension of a driver’s license for 2 years. The state may also seize and sell your vehicle. Judicial penalties consist of:

  • Felony conviction and all the loss of liberty that comes along with this type of conviction.
  • Driving privileges suspended for up to four years.
  • Sentenced to a mandatory 30 days in jail.
  • Up to 10 years in prison.
  • Possible home confinement.
  • Must pay a fine of up to $2,000, in addition to court costs.
  • Certain installation of an IID into your vehicle. A mandatory fine of $2,000
  • Jail time of between 1 and 5 years – It is possible all but 6 months can be suspended
  • Compulsory Substance Abuse Evaluation and Driver Improvement School
  • Possible community service of 30, 8-hour days

Aggravating Factors

The base sentence may increase substantially for the offender under certain circumstances. These are called aggravating factors. In Louisiana these include:

  • Refusing to give a blood, urine or breath sample. This falls under the implied consent laws
  • Child Endangerment Law – If you have a passenger who is under the age of 12, you face additional mandatory jail time. The minimum is no longer 6 months, but 1 year
  • the driver's BAC is above .15
  • the driver's BAC is over .20%
  • the driver is underage
  • the driver had a commercial license,

Plea Options

In Louisiana, you can plead guilty or not guilty, or try to make a plea bargain (plea bargaining is permitted in Louisiana.

Consult an Attorney

Before you decide upon the best plea options, consult a qualified Louisiana attorney. A skilled lawyer knows the laws of his or her state. He or she will help you prepare an effective defense against the third offense DUI charges.

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