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  • DUI & DWI in Louisiana

    In 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10, 839 people died in DWI-related accidents.

    That's Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). It's a serious, and often fatal, crime.

    Blood Alcohol Concentration

    Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the measure of the concentration of alcohol in your blood conveyed as weight per unit of volume. However, BAC doesn't necessarily have to be checked with a blood sample. Breath checks are usually just as effective.

    In Louisiana, drivers under the age of 21 found to have a BAC of at least .02 will be charged with DWI. Drivers over the age of 21 found to have a BAC of at least .08 will be charged with DWI.

    For more information about BAC levels, check out this Alcohol Impairment Chart .

    Penalties

    If fatality statistics aren't enough to grab your attention, remember that any drunk driver who causes an accident that kills another person faces up to 20 years in prison.

    Not only is it a serious and potentially fatal crime, but DWI is also a costly crime.

    In addition to court costs and attorney fees, you'll be losing money due to possible imprisonment. You'll also risk losing your driving privileges, making it hard to get to work.

    The Louisiana Class D & E Drivers Guide, "Driving Offenses," thoroughly covers the severe penalties of DWI. We've provided an outline of each DWI conviction and its maximum penalties below.

    First Offense

    • Up to 6 months in jail.
    • Fined up to $1,000, in addition to court costs.

    Second Offense

    • Mandatory 48 hours in jail.
    • Up to six months of additional jail time.
    • Fined up to $1,000, in addition to court costs.

    Third Offense

    • Mandatory 30 days in jail.
    • Up to 5 years in prison.
    • Possible home confinement.
    • Fined up to $2,000, in addition to court costs.
    • Possible loss of vehicle.
    • Six weeks in an inpatient substance abuse program, plus 12 months in an outpatient substance abuse program.

    Fourth Offense

    • Mandatory 30 days in jail.
    • Up to 30 years in prison.
    • Possible home confinement for 5 years.
    • Fined up to $5,000, in addition to court costs.
    • Possible loss of vehicle.
    • Six weeks in an inpatient substance abuse program, plus 12 months in an outpatient substance abuse program.

    Your judge may even require you to enroll in a driver improvement program or work on community service projects. You must pay for all costs associated with these requirements.

    You can't drive, you're broke, you're in jail, and you may have killed someone. That good time doesn't quite seem worth it now, does it?

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