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Louisiana First Offender

You are DWI/DUI in Louisiana if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .10% or greater.

First Offense Penalties

Jail

10 days to 6 months. If you had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15% or higher, at least 48 hours of the sentence imposed will be served without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.

Fines/Fees

$300-$1000. Other Special Assessments/Surcharges: Victim's Restitution Fund, Chemical Test fee of $75 and additional $50 fee to defray cost of probation or incarceration.

Probation

Sentence can be suspended only if the following conditions of probation are met:

Two days imprisonment or 4 eight-hour days of community service (litter abatement or collection).
Participation in a court-approved substance abuse program (with screening to assess applicable and appropriate portions of the program) and driver improvement program.
If you had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15% or more, you must serve at least forty-eight hours of the sentence imposed without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
License Suspension

For first offense: Mandatory 90 days (180 days if you are under 21) without eligibility for hardship license for the first 30 days. Reinstatement Fee: $50.

Mandatory Minimums

For 1st offenses, some or all of the mandatory minimums can be abated by participation in substance abuse and driver improvement programs, combined with community service.

Restricted Hardship License

Eligibility is for first offense DWI only. Restricted (Hardship) Licenses will designate times and routes over which the driver will be permitted to operate a motor vehicle; will have a large "R" on the front of the license and cost $50 dollars plus license cost.

If you violate these restrictions, you will be subject to cancellation and seizure of the restricted license and shall have no driving privileges for a period of six months.

Test Refusal

For a first refusal to submit to breath or blood alcohol test, the license suspension is 180 days without eligibility for hardship license for the first 90 days.

Under 21

You are DUI if your BAC is .02% or more. If your BAC is found to be 0.10% or greater you are subject to the same penalties as persons twenty-one and over who commit the crime of driving under the influence (see above).

First offenders under 21 usually face a fine of $100-$250 and must participate in a court-approved substance abuse and driver improvement program.

Are you Really a First Offender?

In Louisiana the period of time in which a judge can review an offender's record (the "look-back" period) is 10 years. For licensing actions the administrative "look-back" period is 5 years.

Insurance

Your insurance rates will probably climb considerably, and your insurance carrier may drop you. The rates for family members and sometimes your employer can increase as well.

More Serious Charges

You may be charged with felony DUI (possibly leading to much greater penalties) if you are involved in a crash involving serious injury or death.


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