Arrests for driving under the influence are at an all-time high in Louisiana. If you are stopped for any reason operating a car, boat or other motor vehicles, you can be arrested if the officer suspects you are legally intoxicated at the time of the traffic stop. Regardless, if you are under the influence of alcohol, illegal substances or legally prescribed narcotics, you can be arrested and charged.If you have been stopped for any reason and the officer suspects you are under the influence, he may require you to perform various field sobriety tests video recorded from his patrol vehicle. The officer may also perform an eye test and if he suspects you are “legally intoxicated,” and may place you under arrest even if you refuse to submit to a breath test of over .08. If you submit to the breath test and there is no alcohol present and the officer finds physical signs of intoxication, he can require a urine sample, and if narcotics are present, you can be charged. Even if there are legally prescribed prescription drugs found, you can still be charged and convicted of a D.U.I.
Call (337) 436-5297 or toll free at 1-877-808-3328 to discuss your legal options. If you are unable to come in to our office, we can come to you at your home or hospital room for a free, confidential consultation.
The lookback period is the time in which any previous offenses have relevance in sentencing. This period begins from the time of conviction or guilty plea, not the time of arrest, and can go back 10 years.
Your license will be suspended for 90 days if your BAC results show you are at .08% or higher. If it is your second or subsequent offense, the penalty is a one year suspension. If your BAC is .20 or above, your license will be suspended for two years.
While refusing to take the BAC test may warrant milder consequences than a DWI in Louisiana, you can still be found guilty of a DWI. It is possible for the prosecution to argue that you refused to take the BAC because you knew that you were intoxicated during the time of your arrest.
Commercial Vehicle or Class License
On top of the penalties associated with Louisiana’s DUI laws, commercial and licensed drivers who have been convicted as first time offenders will have their commercial license suspended for at least one year. If the driver was operating a vehicle transporting hazardous waste materials, their license will be suspended for at least three years. Commercial or licensed offenders convicted of their second DUI will be banned from driving commercial vehicles for life, which may or may not be reduced to a minimum suspension of 10 years. Depending on the driver’s license class, it is possible that commercial driving suspensions may occur if the offender is driving a non-commercial vehicle while intoxicated. If the driver refuses the BAC test their license will be automatically revoked for life. See the associated chart above for commercial and licensed BAC limits.