Drunk driving charges are serious in Louisiana

August 14, 2018
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No open containers
The presence of drive-thru daiquiri stores seems to make people think that drunk driving laws are lax in Louisiana. You can’t have open containers in a vehicle here, so if you do pick up a daiquiri at the drive-thru, make sure that you avoid the temptation to have a sip. Don’t put your straw into the icy beverage, as this will open the door to a charge of open container.

Drunk driving charges
The legal limits for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for drivers are consistent with the rest of the country. People who aren’t of the legal drinking age have a limit of .02 percent. Other adults have a limit if .08 percent. There is an aggravated BAC limit of .15 percent.

The state does have an implied consent law. This means that you can face penalties if you are asked to take a BAC test and refuse.
If you are convicted of drunk driving, you face either jail time or probation. On a first offense, you can spend 10 days to six months in jail. You might be assigned hours of community service, have to take a driver education course and enter a substance abuse treatment program to reduce your jail sentence to 48 hours.
You face a 90-day driver’s license suspension for a first offense, one year for a second offense and two years for a third offense. You could also have your vehicle confiscated in some cases or have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. You would also be responsible for all installation and maintenance costs.

Other consequences
If you are convicted of driving drunk, you will need to get a statement of financial responsibility. This is known as an SR-22 insurance policy. You might also be required to have one on file if you fail to submit to a chemical test or if you attempt to get a hardship license.
A hardship license is issued to allow you to drive to work and handle the necessities of life. There are very strict terms of these licenses, but it might be a good idea to explore this option if you need to drive while your license is suspended. The hardship license can be difficult to obtain because it requires a variety of documentation be provided prior to issuance.

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