Louisiana DWI Laws
Even in the French Quarter of New Orleans, known for its drive-through cocktail vendors, it is highly illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. In fact, Louisiana DWI (driving while intoxicated) law imposes a jail sentence for most offenders, although jail time may be waived by the terms of probation. For example, a first offender of Louisiana DWI law faces the prospect of 10 days to six months in jail, which is reduced to 48 hours if the offender completes at least 32 hours of community service, enters a court-ordered substance abuse program, and also completes a driver education course. In addition, first offenders have their license suspended for at least 90 days. After a third offense, the offender may have his or her car impounded and sold at auction.
Whether you live in Louisiana or are just visiting, make sure you understand the state's DWI laws. The following information covers state DWI law, including blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits and penalties for violations.
Louisiana DWI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent
|"Per Se" BAC Limit||0.08 Percent|
|Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit||0.02 Percent|
|Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit||0.15 Percent|
|Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test?||Yes|
Louisiana DWI Laws: Select Penalties
|Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense)||90 days / 1 year / 2 years|
|Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment||Both|
|Vehicle Confiscation Possible?||Yes|
|Ignition Interlock Device Possible?||Yes|
Note: State laws are always changing through legislative, judicial, or other means. While FindLaw works hard to ensure the accuracy of its legal resources, it's a good idea to thoroughly research the law or check with an attorney to make sure you have the most recent information.
Louisiana DWI Resources
- Louisiana DWI Statute: Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated (La. Rev. Stat. 14-98).
- DWI License Suspensions - Breakdown of license suspension periods following a DWI offense (La. Office of Motor Vehicles).
- Ignition Interlock - Eligibility and criteria for ignition interlock as a condition of license reinstatement (La. Office of Motor Vehicles).
- Hardship License Requirements - Requirements for a hardship license and possibly ignition interlock system (La. Office of Motor Vehicles).
- What are the Louisiana DWI Laws? - Additional information about the DWI laws of Louisiana, including penalties and links to other sources (FindLaw).
- DUI Laws - Collection of how-to and information articles, plus state-specific resources, on impaired driving laws (FindLaw).
- National Directory of Designated Driver Services - Searchable directory of sober ride services in each state, including Louisiana (DrinkingAndDriving.org)
Get Help With Your Case From a Louisiana DWI Lawyer
If your BAC level is recorded at 0.08 percent or higher, you will be arrested and likely charged for a DWI in Louisiana. But if the breath analysis machine was malfunctioning or the officer pulled you over without probable cause, to give a couple of examples, you may be able to evade conviction with a good attorney. But even if that's not the case, an attorney will work on your behalf to help soften the landing of a difficult situation. Get started today by reaching out to a Louisiana DWI attorney in your neighborhood.