Louisiana First Offense DWI Laws

Louisiana DWI Laws

A person can be arrested on a first offense DWI charge in Louisiana for driving a motor vehicle while their ability to safely operate that vehicle has been impaired by the consumption of alcohol or drugs. Or for driving with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08% or greater.

You will not only be facing a first offense misdemeanor charge for driving while intoxicated that will be dealt with through the Louisiana court system, but you will also be facing administrative actions against your driving privileges that will be dealt with through the Louisiana Department of Public Safety.

Louisiana DWI First Offense Penalties

The consequences for a first offense DWI conviction include a fine in the amount of $300 to $1,000 plus all applicable court costs and miscellaneous fees. The minimum jail sentence for a first offense is 10 days up to a maximum of 6 months. the court may suspend any or all of the jail time as long as your BAC level was less than .15%. If your BAC level was .15% or above there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 48 hours.



First time offenders will also be required to serve up to 32 hours of community service. Complete a state approved substance abuse evaluation and driver improvement school. Driver's license will be suspended for 90 days for a first offense.

You will be eligible for a hardship license during the suspension period. The requirements for being granted a hardship license by the Department include the installation of an ignition interlock device in the offender's vehicle by a state approved installation center, the completion of an SR-22 filing with the Department, and the payment of all necessary fees. First time offenders who refuse to submit to a chemical test will have their driving privileges revoked for 1-year.

You can obtain an SR22 insurance policy and filing by entering your zip code in the box below and completing the short form on the following page:

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Louisiana Administrative Drivers License Hearing

Upon being arrested on a first offense DWI charge, the arresting officer will confiscate the offender's driver's license and issue what is referred to as a "Notice of Suspension". This notice will inform you of your rights to an administrative hearing with the DPS regarding the pending suspension of your driver's license.

Important: Any person arrested on a first offense DWI charge in Louisiana only has 15 days from the date listed on the "Notice of Suspension" in which to schedule an administrative hearing with the DPS if they wish to challenge the pending suspension of their driving privileges.

The suspension hearing should not be taken lightly if you hope to have a successful outcome at the hearing. it is strongly recommended that you seek the representation of an experienced Louisiana DWI lawyer who knows how these hearings work to handle your case. All of our lawyers have administrative hearing experience, contact our lawyers today to schedule your hearing before it is to late.

The purpose of the hearing will be to determine whether or not the officer followed the proper procedures for the arrest, whether or not the officer informed the defendant of the penalties for refusal to submit to a chemical test, and if the officer made a second request after informing the defendant of the penalties for refusal, whether or not the defendant had a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater at the time of arrest.

If the Department determines that the officer's suspension of your driver's license was not justified, your license will be returned to you and no record of the arrest will show on your driving record. If however, the Department decides that the officer's suspension was justified and that you were driving while intoxicated, your driving privileges will be suspended for 90 days following a first offense DWI arrested in Louisiana.

First time offenders whose license has been suspended will be eligible for a hardship licensethrough the Department which will allow them to drive to earn a living and maintain their household during the suspension period. In order to be granted a hardship license you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle and to complete an SR-22 filing with the Department.

Louisiana SR22 Insurance Information & Quotes

Before the Louisiana Department of Public Safety will reinstate your driver's license following your suspension period or before granting you a hardship license during the suspension period you will be required to complete a Louisiana SR22 insurance filing with the Department. The SR22 filing can be made by any insurance company that is licensed in the state of Louisiana and offers such filings.

Once the filing has been made and your license has been reinstated you will be required to maintain your SR22 filing with the Department for a period of 3-years from the date of reinstatement. If you fail to maintain your filing at anytime during this period, the Department will cancel your driver's license. If this happens you will need to have your insurance provider file another SR22 form with the Department before you will be issued a new driver's license.



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Additional Lousiana DWI Resources

  • Louisiana DWI Laws - A complete overview of Louisiana DWI laws including fines, jail time and penalties for each offense.

  • Louisiana SR22 Insurance -  Learn everything you need to know about Louisiana SR22 filing requirements with the OMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your Louisiana SR22 insurance.

  • Louisiana DWI Lawyers -   Contact one of our Louisiana DWI lawyers today.

  • Louisiana Alcohol Assessment Programs - We offer a complete listing of Louisiana's approved alcohol assessment programs.