Ticket Fines and Penalties in Louisiana
Louisiana traffic ticket fines vary by violation and by court―and they're not printed on your actual citation.
You must contact your parish for the fine amount.
Court Costs and Other Surcharges
Like traffic ticket fines, court costs vary by court. You must contact your parish for the exact amount.
DWI surcharges are the same throughout Louisiana.
- 1st Offense: $1,000.
- 2nd Offense: $1,000.
- 3rd Offense: $2,000.
- 4th Offense: $5,000.
These surcharges are in addition to court costs and other DWI-related penalties like license suspension, incarceration, and in some cases felony criminal records.
Negligent Injury and Homicide Surcharges
You must pay additional fines if you cause harm or death with a vehicle.
- Vehicle Negligent Injury: Up to $1,000.
- First Degree Vehicle Negligent Injury: Up to $2,000.
- Vehicular Homicide: Between $2,000 and $15,000.
- Pay the fine.
- Possibly have the violation appear on your PDPS record.
- Risk license suspension or revocation depending on the violation.
- Potentially experience an increase in auto insurance rates.
- Contest the ticket during your hearing.
- Prepare your case, possibly with a traffic ticket attorney.
- Possibly attend a driver improvement course for ticket dismissal.
- Have no penalties if found not guilty (except any applicable court/attorney fees).
- Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable).
NOTE: Vehicle Negligent Injury and First Degree Vehicle Negligent Injury both involve a driver who is under the influence of drugs or has a BAC of 0.08% or higher.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
Learn more about Paying your Traffic Ticket »
(Plead Not Guilty)
Learn more about Fighting your Traffic Ticket »
Auto Insurance Rate Increase
It's almost as if we're born with this knowledge: I get a traffic ticket, and my insurance rates go up.
Fortunately, it's not the case for all drivers. Depending on your driving history, your provider, and your policy, a violation might not result in higher rates for you.
Talk with your agent about the possibility of higher rates the next time you renew your policy; if you find out you can expect an increase, start comparing car insurance rates online to see if you can find a better deal.
The state can automatically suspend, revoke, or cancel a driver's license for a variety of reasons. Let's focus on traffic- and driving-related causes here.
LA Driver's License Suspension, Revocation, and Cancellation
License Suspension: Usually, a license suspension takes away your driving privileges for a predetermined amount of time, though restoration of your privileges also might depend on meeting certain reinstatement requirements.
License Revocation: Revocations are similar to suspensions, but usually they last much longer and require more involved reinstatement processes.
License Cancellation: Typically, a license cancellation occurs when a driver obtains a license using false information, uses a license for illegal purposes, or has been determined physically or mentally unfit to operate a motor vehicle.
Chapter Eight (“Driving Offenses") of Louisiana’s Driver Guide outlines reasons why the state will suspend or revoke your driver's license. Below are some of the most common traffic- and driving-related causes:
- DWI convictions.
- Not stopping for a school bus loading or unloading children.
- Manslaughter or negligent homicide involving a vehicle.
- Commission of a felony involving a vehicle.
- 3 reckless driving convictions within 12 months
- Using a text messaging device while driving, a cellular phone while operating a school bus.
- Driving with a license that's already suspended.
Louisiana doesn't adhere to a point system; instead, the state sends certain information (such as serious traffic violations, suspensions, and revocations) to the National Driver Registry's Problem Driver Pointer System.
However, the OMV does keep a public record of all your traffic violations for 5 years, and a record of any DWI-related violation for 10 years total.
Learn more at LA Driving Records.
Penalties for Drivers Younger than 21 Years Old
For drivers younger than 21 years old, DWI means driving with a BAC of 0.02% or higher.
- First Offense: license suspension or revocation of 180 days.
- Second Offense: license suspension of 365 days.
Note that these penalties are in addition to any other penalties the court imposes, such as the usual incarceration. Plus, you'll acquire a criminal record or, for some, a felony criminal record.
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