As we all know, Louisiana and the rest of the country have laws against driving under the influence (DUI). These laws impose penalties on motorists caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a driver is caught with an alcohol content above .08 or has consumed alcohol or a drug that affects the driver’s abilities, you can be charged with a DUI.
If you are driving within Louisiana, you are probably familiar with DUI laws. If you get pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence or are charged with a DUI, you might want to start by getting a lawyer experienced in handling DUI cases.
Our team at Pierce & Shows has a combined 60 years of experience helping clients in Baton Rouge and throughout Louisiana through their driving-related charges. If you’re facing this situation for the first time, read on to learn more about the penalties you could face.
Penalties for a first-time DUI in Louisiana
A first time-DUI offense in Louisiana is considered a misdemeanor, which gives rise to the following penalties upon conviction:
- Minimum fine of $300 and a maximum of $1,000
- Minimum jail time of 10 days and maximum of 6 months
- Driver can get up to two years’ probation
- Community service of at least 32 hours, one-half of which must be on litter detail
- Driver must participate in a court-approved substance abuse program, court-approved driver improvement program, and MADD victim impact panel
Does My BAC matter?
Your blood alcohol content will affect the severity of the DUI penalty.
If the BAC is over .15, 48 hours of jail time is mandatory and cannot be suspended.
If the BAC is over.20, the defendant must face 48 hours of mandatory jail time, a fine of $750 to $1,000, suspension of driving privileges for two years, and an ignition interlock device must be installed for 12 months. If a violation of the child endangerment law has occurred, certain jail sentences cannot be suspended.
What about charges for multiple DUIs in Louisiana?
A second DUI offense in Louisiana is still considered a misdemeanor, but the penalties increase considerably. In addition to the substance abuse program and driver improvement program, convicted offenders could face higher fines, longer jail time, and longer periods of probation than first-time offenders.
Third and fourth DUI offenses are worse and are considered felony offenses.
Third-time DUI offenses can lead to up to $2000 in fines, and fourth offenses can lead to up to $5000 fines.
Similarly, third-time DUI offenses can land you in jail for 1-5 years, and a fourth offense can lead to anywhere from a 10-year to 30-year prison sentence.
Contact Pierce & Shows Today
Clearly, DUI charges are serious in Louisiana – even for first-time offenders. If you are accused of DUI, the first thing you need to do is contact a criminal defense attorney. Our attorneys at Pierce & Shows have years of experience handling these types of cases. Contact us today to speak with one of our attorneys.