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DWI Penalties in Louisiana

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If you have been pulled over and charged with DWI in Louisiana, you face serious penalties. Learn more about the penalties for DWI/DUI in Louisiana here, or contact our Baton Rouge DWI defense attorney for a free and confidential consultation. We can discuss your rights and help you begin preparing for upcoming legal proceedings and hearings.

Contact us online or call (225) 230-1181.

Penalties for a First-Time DWI Offense

If convicted of a first-time DWI/DUI in Louisiana, you face the following penalties:

  • Driver’s license suspension for 90 days*
  • 10 days to 6 months in jail
  • A fine up to $1,000, plus other court-related costs
  • Possible installation of an IID into your vehicle

For first offenders, the sentence handed down by the court can be suspended if the following conditions of probation are met:

  • Two-day imprisonment or four eight-hour days of community service (litter abatement or collection), and;
  • Participation in a court-approved substance abuse program and driver improvement program.

*If you are under the age of 21, your driving privileges may be suspended for 180 days.

Once your driving privileges have been suspended by the court for the mandatory minimum of 90 days, you can apply for a “Restricted License” to be effective during the first 30 days of suspension. Restricted Licenses will designate certain times and routes for which you will be permitted to drive. You will be issued a new driver’s license on which a large “R” will be displayed. Even if you refuse to submit to a chemical test (in your first offense), you may still apply for a hardship license to be effective after 90 days of your license suspension.

For DWI offenders under the age of 21, if your BAC is found to be 0.20% or greater, you may be subject to the same penalties as persons over the age of 21 who commit the crime of DUI.

Penalties for a Second-Time DWI Offense

The penalties for a second offense are as follows:

  • Driver’s license suspension of up to two years
  • Mandatory 48 hours in jail
  • Up to six months of additional jail time
  • A fine of up to $1,000, in addition to court costs
  • Certain installation of an IID into your vehicle

It is possible that the judge will require you to participate in a court-approved substance abuse program, driver improvement program, and/or community service projects. All costs associated with these programs or activities will be your responsibility.

With a first or second conviction of DWI/DUI, you may have a criminal record.

Penalties for a Third-Time DWI Offense

A third-time DWI is considered a felony and carries all the loss of liberty that comes along with this type of conviction.

If you are convicted of a third DWI/DUI, you face the following penalties:

  • Driver’s license suspension of up to four years
  • Mandatory 30 days in jail
  • Up to 10 years in prison
  • Possible home confinement
  • A fine of up to $2,000, in addition to court costs
  • Certain installation of an IID into your vehicle

Penalties for a Fourth-Time DWI Offense

If you are charged with and convicted of a fourth DWI/DUI in Louisiana, you face the following penalties:

  • Driver’s license suspension of up to four years
  • Mandatory 30 days in jail
  • Up to 30 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $5,000, in addition to court costs
  • Certain installation of an IID into your vehicle
  • Six weeks in an inpatient substance abuse program, plus 12 months in an outpatient substance abuse program

Additionally, if you experience a third and/or fourth DUI/DWI conviction, you will have a felony criminal record.

Avoiding Driver’s License Suspension after a DUI/DWI Arrest

After the date of your arrest for DUI/DWI, you have only 15 days to request a hearing from the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to avoid a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license. Hearings involving traffic violations are not automatic, therefore, you must request a hearing from the court in the city or parish where you were issued a citation.

This hearing is simply an administrative hearing in relation to retaining your license and driving privileges. Further from the date of your arrest, you will also be required to participate in a criminal court proceeding to address the penalties associated with DUI.

Contact the Baton Rouge DWI defense attorneys at our firm to learn more; call (225) 230-1181 today.

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