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What Is The Minimum Jail Time For First Offense DWI In Louisiana?

The minimum jail time in Louisiana for DWI first offense is 48 hours. However, the judge may sentence you to probation and community service instead of serving the 48 hours. If he does so, you’ll be placed on probation for up to two years with a suspended jail sentence of six months hanging over your head if you fail to complete the required conditions of probation.  If you blew .15 or above, the judge may order you to serve 48 hours in jail. Some judges have a policy where they require this. It doesn’t matter if you have a clean record or not. Sometimes, we can get the judge to bend a little and allow our clients to serve the jail time on the weekend or home incarceration.

What Is The Minimum Jail Time For First Offense DWI In Louisiana?

Minimum Jail Time: At a Glance

If you’re arrested in Louisiana for driving under the influence, even if it’s your first offense–you could be sentenced to a minimum of 48 hours behind bars. Not only that, but you could be fined anywhere between $300-1,000. The maximum time you serve could be six months, depending on the nature of the crime.

In the case that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above 0.20%, you could be fined at least $750. In addition, your license will be suspended for two years. Following the completion of your suspension, the DMV may require an ignition interlock placed on it for 12 months.

How to Decrease Time of Sentence

In the case of a first offense DWI, your jail time can be shortened if you’re placed on probation and meet all statutory requirements. In this case, you must either stay in jail for 48 hours or complete 32 hours of community service. You would then be required to participate in substance abuse and driver improvement programs, per order of the court. If your BAC was above 0.20%, you would be required to spend 48 hours of your sentence rather than have the alternative choice of community service.

What Happens if You Commit More Offenses

In the event that you are convicted a second time for a DWI in Louisiana, the penalties only get worse. Your prison sentence will increase to a minimum of 30 days. At least 48 hours of your sentence will need to be served, and $750-1,000 will be fined. The remainder of your sentence may be lessened if you are placed on probation and spend 15 days in jail or complete 240 hours of community service. A BAC above 0.20% will get you a minimum of 96 hours, and your license will be suspended for four years.

A Third DWI Conviction Will Get You:

A fine of $2,000

One to five years in prison, with at least one year served unless you enter a drug division probation program

Probation, if you complete a minimum of 240 hours of community service

  • Additionally, you must complete a driver improvement program and get hired for a job
  • The Louisiana Department of Health will evaluate your substance abuse disorder
  • You will then be required to participate in a treatment plan

As For Four Or More DWI Offenses:

The fine will increase to $5,000

Prison time increases to 10 to 30 years

  • May be reduced to two under a drug division probation program
  • If you previously participated in the program, you will have to serve three years
  • Remainder of sentence may be relieved if you’re placed on a 5-year supervised probation and complete 320 hours of community service

What You Can Do to Avoid Louisiana DWI Charges

  • Assign someone in your group as the driver – If you’re hanging out with a group of friends and plan on drinking, have one of your friends stay sober so that they can drive everyone home safely.
  • Call an Uber or taxi – Getting a ride from a professional service is a small price to pay compared to the fine of a DWI.
  • Take the bus, subway, or train – Even cheaper than Uber or a taxi.
  • Never drink on an empty stomach – Alcohol is absorbed slowly in a full stomach, but if you’re hungry, it will enter directly into your bloodstream and make you get drunk faster.
  • Pace yourself – Everyone is different when it comes to alcohol metabolism, but if you’re not sure about how much you can handle, the safest bet is one drink (one shot of liquor, 12 ounces of beer, or 5 ounces of wine) per hour, along with a glass of water.
  • Wait two to three hours or spend the night – If you don’t want to leave your car behind, wait it out until you sober up, or stay the night if you’re visiting someone you know.

Conclusion on What is the Minimum Jail Time for First Offense DWI in Louisiana

To conclude this article, if you’re convicted of your first DWI in Louisiana, you will be sentenced at least 10 days in jail and end up with a fine of at least $300. If you commit further offenses, the penalties will only get worse each time. No one wants that to happen to them, so we highly suggest that you follow the tips listed previously about how to avoid a DWI.

If you are faced with DWI charges and you are in Baton Rouge or any of the surrounding areas, you should hire Carl Barkemeyer, Criminal Defense Attorney. Carl Barkemeyer is a DWI attorney who can provide answers to all of your questions on the topic. His team can also assist by providing aggressive legal representation in a number of practice areas. Please take a look at the areas we service and reach out to us for a consultation.

We hope you understand the topic: what is the minimum jail time for first offense DWI in Louisiana and we wish you all the best.


Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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