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What are the penalties for a first-time DUI in Louisiana?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | DUI Defense

The “laissez les bon temps rouler” mindset in Louisiana means most people can find something fun to do at the drop of a hat. In many (if not most) cases, a party offers a chance to enjoy alcohol. Adults who opt to partake should ensure that they don’t have to drive when they’re ready to leave.

The penalties for impaired driving in Louisiana include legal, administrative and collateral consequences. These can often impact a person’s life for a long time after a charge is levied.

Legal consequences

In Louisiana, the legal penalties for a first-time drunk driving offense include a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000. Additionally, the court can impose a jail sentence of up to six months. However, first-time offenders often receive probation instead of jail time, provided they meet certain conditions.

Probation typically requires the completion of a substance abuse program and participation in a driver improvement program. The court may also mandate community service. Failure to comply with these probation conditions can lead to harsher penalties, including potential jail time.

Administrative consequences

In addition to the legal penalties, a first-time DUI offender in Louisiana faces administrative. One of the primary administrative penalties is the suspension of the driver’s license. For a first offense, the license suspension period is generally 90 days. However, if the driver refuses to submit to a chemical test, the suspension can extend to one year.

Collateral consequences

The impact of a first-time DUI conviction extends beyond legal and administrative penalties, affecting various aspects of an individual’s life. One significant collateral consequence is the increase in auto insurance premiums. A DUI conviction signals high risk to insurance companies, leading to substantially higher rates, which can be a long-term financial burden.

A DUI conviction can also result in professional ramifications. Certain professions, especially those requiring a commercial driver’s license, may impose stricter regulations on individuals with a DUI on their record. Employers may also conduct background checks, and a DUI conviction could hinder job prospects.

People who are facing a first-time DUI should ensure that they get legal assistance. This can help them to learn about their options and determine if there are any programs that may help them to mitigate the risk of incurring any/all of the penalties they’re facing.