We all make mistakes. Unfortunately, some mistakes leave lasting damage.
If you’ve received a conviction for driving while intoxicated (known as a DWI) in the state of Lousiana, you’ll be suffering the punishment already.
A DWI, even a first offense, can leave you unable to drive. If you rely on your vehicle for work or other commitments, that could mean you losing your job, or worse.
That’s where a hardship or restricted license can come in handy. Here’s everything you need to know about a hardship license and how to get one.
What Is a Hardship License?
With a DWI conviction in the state of Louisiana, you will lose your main driving license after your first offense.
Your license will be ‘suspended’, so you will be unable to drive for the period of suspension. The length of your suspension will vary, depending on how many DWI convictions you currently have, and the severity of the case.
What you may be eligible for is a hardship or restricted license, which will allow you to drive to certain locations and during certain times (such as only during the daytime).
You can find out more about DWI laws in Louisiana and the penalties you’ll face for each offense from this helpful guide.
Am I Eligible?
If your car is essential for you to be able to maintain your life in some way, you might be eligible for a hardship driver’s license in the state of Lousiana. The reasons, however, are limited.
If you need it for work, school or medical commitments, you should be eligible for a restricted license. You might also be eligible if you can argue that you require your vehicle for other essential necessities.
For instance, if you require a car to drive to a grocery store, without any other modes of transportation available, you may be able to argue this as a ‘necessity’ that requires your access to a restricted license.
Ways to Apply for a Hardship Driving License
To apply for a hardship driving license, you’ll need to follow these steps.
You will need to fill in an SR22 form with the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles. This is a form from your insurance company that confirms that you currently have insurance coverage to drive.
If you don’t have insurance, you’ll need to organize this first.
With this filed, you’ll then need to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This will prevent your car from starting if the alcohol in your blood is above a certain limit. You’ll be required to use this every time you drive, similar to a breathalyzer a police officer might ask you to use.
Find out more about the ignition interlock policy from the Louisiana DMV.
With an interlock installed, you’ll then be required to petition the court for a restricted license with a detailed explanation of your requirements. You’ll also be required to pay for this, as well as any fees for your license itself.
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Even with a DWI conviction, if you’ve got a legitimate need for a hardship license, you might be eligible.
Don’t expect it to be a walk in the park, however. You will need to petition the court for approval, and you’ll need to argue that your case successfully. If you can demonstrate your need, you have a strong chance of success.
If you’re in need of a hardship or restricted license after a DWI conviction and require legal advice for your case, don’t leave it up to chance. Get in touch and discuss your options today.