Do you know that Louisiana has tough fines and jail terms for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or higher?
You could lose your driving license, a job, and a college opportunity because of a BAC penalty. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in Louisiana. It can result in the suspension or revocation of your driving license and insurance. DWI can cause many complications, and the state requires you to find a DWI lawyer within 15 days.
The lawyer is expected to make a request with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety for a hearing that can save you from several penalties. An aggravated DWI attracts higher fines, penalties, and has negative consequences compared to a DWI offense.
What’s the Difference Between a DWI and an Aggravated DWI?
If you’re arrested for an additional offense, your DWI charge may be upgraded to an aggravated DWI. Here’s more on the difference between these charges.
What is DWI?
Driving while intoxicated is a serious crime in Louisiana. Drunken driving is risky because alcohol impairs the expected positive reactive activities of the person behind the wheels to control a vehicle. While some states use another term, drinking under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, there is no difference between DUI and DWI.
A person commits a DWI when the BAC percentage is more than 0.15. DWI Louisiana asserts that the legal alcohol limit based on BAC is 0.08 for an adult driver and 0.02% of any drive below the age of 21 years. The limit is much higher for a commercial driver at a BAC limit of 0.04%.
The guidelines affect the entire region and include all cities across the state of Louisiana that includes Baton Rouge and Livingston. Drink driving exposes the driver and road to several risks. Watch your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage not to exceed 0.15 to ensure safety while driving.
Differences Between a DWI and an Aggravated DWI
A DWI attracts lighter penalties compared to an aggravated DWI offense in Louisiana. If you drive with a BAC of 0.15 percent and not higher, you incur a DWI charge. The most common penalty is a 48 hours sentence without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
Contact a lawyer in advance to help you obtain a minimum charge. Likewise, your name is added to the driving record, which has negative social consequences that include job denial if unemployed and being considered a social misfit.
On the other hand, an aggravated DWI Louisiana is registered when the BAC is 0.15 or higher with specific circumstances. DWI laws demand harsher penalties for a driver caught with a BAC of 0.20 percent or more. A court treats such a percentage as unacceptable and slaps you with an aggravated DWI.
DWI laws stipulate monetary penalties, a sentence without parole or probation, and license suspension for 2 years. Circumstances that aggravate a DWI offense include causing an accident and driving while with a minor as a passenger.
The presence of a minor in a vehicle compels authorities to upgrades a DWI into an aggravated offense. The reason for the action is that the driver exposes a vulnerable person to a life-threatening risk. Driving with a suspended or revoked license can also cause an aggravated DWI when found to be under the influence of alcohol.
The same is true if involved in an accident that causes property damage, if you have prior convictions for DWI, and refusing to submit to a chemical test.
Penalties for a First DWI and an Aggravated DWI
The state of Louisiana applies enhanced penalties and steep fines for persons who commit an aggravated DWI.
- A fine of $300 to $1,000 but increases to $750 to $1,000 for aggravated DWI
- A jail term of 48 hours for DWI but extends to between 10 days and 6 months for an aggravated DWI.
- Suspension of the driver’s license for 12 months but the period increases to 2 years for an aggravated DWI.
- If convicted with a BAC of 0.15 you license could be suspended for 12 months although available immediately with restrictions.
- If convicted with BAC above 0.20, the court revokes your license for 2 years.
- Conviction penalties can include non-negotiable 32 hours of community service.
The severity of charges increases when a person commits a second DWI offense. Some of the added harsher penalties for a second offense include 2 years driving license suspension for DWI but 4 years for an aggravated DWI charge.
A lawyer can help you obtain a license after 45 days, but that comes with a mandatory ignition interlock restriction for the entire suspension period. Likewise, the court can slam you with 240 hours of community service without parole.
Longer Jail Terms with DWI and an Aggravated DWI
You can incur a range of jail time from a few months to about 30 years if the authorities catch you with a DWI or an aggravated DWI that causes a fatality. Hire the services of a lawyer to negotiate for you the appropriate fines to cover the property that you destroy. An aggravated DWI offense attracts higher insurance rates because it is a source of greater risk and liability to the providers.
If the accident leads to death of anyone, safety authorities will hand you a manslaughter, murder, or homicide conviction. An attorney ensures that you get the minimum charges and penalties. But you have to face mandatory time in prison, community service, or revocation of the license.
A criminal defense lawyer in Baton Rouge can negotiate your case to obtain a lenient charge based on your DWI situation. Whether you have a DWI or an aggravated DWI offense, contacting an attorney averts negative consequences.
Even when your license is suspended, an attorney can negotiate for a hardship license. That can allow you to drive from work as well as drop and pick your children from school.
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