Louisiana DWI Laws & Penalties

Louisiana Drunk Driving Laws Explained in Easy to Understand Simple Terms

Louisiana DWI laws are best described as driving or operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher, and/or driving while intoxicated. The first charge is commonly referred to as the ‘per se’ law meaning no evidence of impairment is necessary. Just having a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater is enough for conviction.

From the date of your citation, you have only fifteen days to request your Department of Public Safety and Corrections hearing. If you do not request this hearing, you will lose your license. This is why it is so important for you to contact a lawyer as soon as you are arrested. 

Louisiana DWI Penalties

Probation of your sentence is only an option after you have spent two days in jail, or performed four complete days of community service. Also, in order to receive probation, you must have attended both a substance abuse program that was approved by the court and a driver education program. 

You will also pay between $300 and $1,000 in fees for your crime. You will have to pay $75 to the Victim’s Restitution fund and $50 to the court to cover jail time and probation costs. Your license will be revoked for 90 days. You cannot get a temporary hardship license until you have gone without your license for at least 30 days. To get your license reinstated after this time you will pay $50.

Here is a summary of the punishments you face for a Louisiana DWI case. 

Louisiana First Offense DWI Penalties

  • Driver improvement class
  • Jail time of 10 days to 6 months
  • Fines between $300 and $1,000
  • Drivers license suspension for 90 days

Louisiana Second Offense DWI Penalties

  • Jail time of 30 days to 6 months (in home detention possible)
  • Possible community service hours depending on judge
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Drivers license suspension for 1 year
  • Ignition interlock system mandatory for a minimum of 6 months

Louisiana Third Offense DWI Penalties

  • Jail or prison time of 1 year to 5 years
  • Up to $2,000 in fines
  • Community service hours
  • Mandatory Alcohol Evaluation and Treatment
  • Drivers license suspension for 1 to 2 years
  • Ignition interlock system is required until substance abuse treatment and in home detention is completed.
  • Vehicle will be seized and sold.

Louisiana Fourth Offense DWI Penalties

  • 10 to 30 years in prison
  • $5,000 fine
  • 12 month license suspension once prison sentence is completed

Louisiana BAC Presumptions

  • BAC levels of .001% to .05% are not considered to be under the influence.
  • BAC levels of .051% to .079% are not considered to be under the influence, but are admissible in court as evidence.
  • BAC levels of .08% or greater are considered to be under the influence.

Louisiana Implied Consent Law

  • Chemical testing is allowed. Blood, breath or urine testing to be selected by the officer.
  • The officer is required by law to advise the defendant of their Miranda rights; penalties for test refusal and license suspension.
  • Test results of .08% or greater result in a 90 day to 1 year license suspension.
  • Test refusals result in an immediate license seizure; license suspension for 180 to 545 days and the refusal is admissible in court.
  • First time offenders and second time offenders are eligible for ignition interlock devices immediately.

Louisiana DUI Chemical Testing

  • All chemical testing is to be performed by a person with a valid permit in accordance with the Department of Public Safety standards and techniques.
  • Blood draws for police testing must be performed by a licensed physician, registered nurse or other qualified person.
  • The defendant has the right to have an independent chemical test done by a qualified person chosen by the defendant. The cost of the independent test is the responsibility of the defendant.
  • Test results must be made available to the defendant and his or her Louisiana DWI attorney upon request.

Louisiana Hardship Drivers License Details

After the first thirty days of license suspension under your Louisiana DWI, you can apply for a hardship license. This license lists specific roads that you are allowed to drive on. These are generally the roads you need to take in order to go to and from work or school. If you are found driving on another road(s), you will lose all driving privileges for six months. 

Remember that any time you are given a citation, including your Louisiana DWI citation; you’ll likely face a rise in your insurance premiums due to being required to carry a high risk auto insurance policy. The Louisiana DMV will mandate proof of financial responsibility in the form of SR-22 insurance. SR22 insurance policy is a rider to a high-risk auto insurance policy. It is a guarantee, by the insurance company, that the driver has and will keep in effect at least the very basic mandatory liability insurance for a specific period of time. 

Louisiana SR22 insurance is required for a period of 3-years following a drunk driving conviction and can be very expensive if you go with the wrong provider.  We have partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider here in the state of Louisiana and have worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors. 

You won’t be able to find a cheaper SR22 insurance policy in Louisiana for any less. 

Additional Louisiana DWI Resources
  • Louisiana DUI First Offense – Detailed first offense information including punishments after a first offense DWI in Louisiana.
  • Louisiana DUI Classes – Get signed up to complete your required DWI class online today.
  • Louisiana SR22 Insurance – Learn everything you need to know about Louisiana SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your Louisiana SR22 insurance.
  • Louisiana DUI Lawyers – Contact one of our Louisiana DWI lawyers today to discuss your pending DWI case.
  • Louisiana Bail Bond Agents – Contact an Louisiana bail bond agent to get out of jail now.
  • Louisiana Non-owner Insurance – If you need an SR-22 filing, but don’t own a vehicle, you need to get a non-owner policy.