Drunk driving laws make it illegal to drive in the Louisiana with a BAC at or above 0.08%. It is illegal for those under 21 to drive with a BAC of .02% or above measurable amount of alcohol in their system.
Being pulled over with a DWI second offense is a serious matter. But there are ways that you can get your case reduced or dismissed. Read on to find out more.
DWI Second Offense in Louisiana
In Louisiana, a second DWI is classified as a misdemeanor. The minimum fine for a second offense DWI is $750. You can also get up to 240 hours of community service.
There is also a mandatory re-education driving training course. You can expect around 30 hours of education on substance abuse and driver improvement.
A second offense DWI means your license may be suspended for up to a year. When the year has passed, you may have to pay a license reinstatement fee. You may also need to file an SR22 form with the DMV.
Most importantly, DWI second-offense carries mandatory jail time of at least 2 days. Many judges will order increased jail time up to 30 days.
Ignition Interlock Device
The judge overseeing your case may mandate that you install an ignition interlock device on your car. Courts are required to order the installation and monitoring of an interlock device for any driver whose BAC levels are .08% or higher, even for a first offense.
These devices are breathalyzers that require you to blow below the limit before the car will turn on. You might have to have this device on your car for up to four years.
With a second DWI, you are looking at possible jail time depending on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
If your BAC is over .15%, you will need to serve at least 96 hours of a jail sentence. If your BAC is over .20%, you will need to serve the same amount of jail time. But you will also have your driver’s license suspended for four years.
There are also further penalties if you injure someone while DWI or if you put a child in danger.
Louisiana DWI Under 21 Years of Age
If you are under 21 and have 2 DWIs, your license may be suspended for a full year with a BAC of .02% of greater.
If your BAC is .08% or greater, then you will face the penalties that adults over age 21 face.
Administrative License Revocation
Louisiana has an administrative license revocation (ALR) procedure in effect. This means that if you refuse to take a breath test or if your BAC is above .08%, your license will get suspended or revoked—even if you haven’t yet been convicted by a court.
Basically, this ALR is distinct and unconnected from court penalties. In Louisiana, you can be charged with an ALR despite not being charged in court with driving under the influence.
If you get an ALR, you will have a driving permit for 30 days. This grace period gives you enough time to ask for a hearing to challenge the ALR.
If you don’t book a hearing, your license is suspended for six months beginning on day eleven after you got an ALR.
Then, once your license is reinstated, you will need to have an ignition interlock device.
Now that you have a sense of what a DWI 2nd offense entails, let’s look at what you can do to resolve it.
Choose an Experienced DWI Lawyer to Represent You
The wisest thing you can do is hire a criminal defense lawyer who has experience with DWI arrests in Louisiana.
Remember, just because someone is a lawyer doesn’t mean that person is best suited to defend your case.
Always research attorneys and look at their experience area. You can ask about their success record in winning DWI second offense cases like yours.
The best DWI lawyers will have a strong grasp on the way the Louisiana DWI court process works. The most experienced criminal defense lawyers can potentially protect you from huge fines, jail time, and other penalties.
Your future will is greatly affected by whether you are convicted of a second DWI. You shouldn’t further risk that future by failing to hire an experienced attorney to get you through this.
Here are some of the ways that your attorney will fight against your DWI charges.
Explore Breathalyzer Machine Malfunctions and Errors
One of the few things the court can use against you is the results of the breathalyzer test.
Yet, these devices aren’t perfect. It can show inaccurate results due to any medication you may take. Or the device could have been malfunctioning or not properly calibrated.
In these scenarios, those test results become inadmissible in court.
Proving That the Police Officer Made an Error
The second thing that can get used against you in court is the police officer’s report and notes.
In Louisiana, police officers are not permitted to pull you over if they received an anonymous tip. So if a police officer pulled you over this way, your lawyer can argue your charge and have it dropped.
Police officers in Baton Rouge also can’t detain DWI suspects for too long of a time period. A skilled lawyer will work to prove that the police officer kept you too long.
By exposing police officer errors, your lawyer can get your DWI charges dismissed or at least reduced.
A Final Word on DWI Second Offenses
We hope that this article has given you a good understanding of what a DWI second offense entails and what you can do about it.
Remember, your best bet lies in hiring the right criminal defense lawyer to represent you in court.
Contact criminal defense attorney Carl Barkemeyer today to discuss your case.