DWI and DUI Offenses in Louisiana
DWI and DUI is a serious offense in Louisiana and the statutes are very broad and encompass a great deal. The information below outlines the basics of the crimes, codified at RS 14:98 in the Louisiana Code.
Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated
This is a crime when the driver of any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, vessel or other means of conveyance is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is .08 percent or more, or the driver is under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance listed here.
Furthermore, it is a violation of the law to operate a vehicle while under the influence of a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs that are not controlled dangerous substances and which are legally obtainable with or without a prescription. However, it is an affirmative defense as to this variation if the label of the drug package did not contain a warning about combing the medication with alcohol.
Finally, it is a violation of the law to operate a vehicle under the influence of one or more drugs that are not controlled dangerous substances and that are legally available with or without a prescription. However, again it is an affirmative defense as to this variation if the operation did not knowingly consume quantities of the drug which substantially exceeded the dosage recommendation of a physician or the packaging.
A valid driver’s license is not an element of operating a vehicle while intoxicated – therefore, lacking a valid driver’s license is not a defense.
Additionally, as the statute includes the wording “or other means of conveyance” it may be possible to receive a DWI or DUI while operating a bicycle, scooter, moped or other transportation device.
Underage Driving Under the Influence
This is a crime when the operator of any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, vessel or other means of conveyance has a blood alcohol concentration of .02 percent or more if the driver is under the age of 21.
Unlawful Refusal to Submit to Chemical
If you are under arrest for operating a vehicle while intoxicated or underage driving under the influence, you may not refuse to submit to a chemical test if you have refused to submit to chemical tests on two previous and separate occasions.
Additionally, one should keep in mind that by operating a motor vehicle on public highways in LA, an individual is deemed to have given consent to a chemical test of his blood, breath, urine or other bodily substances for the purpose of detecting the alcoholic content of his blood or the presence of a controlled dangerous substance or other drug if the person is under the suspicion of driving under the influence.
These are the possible consequences for refusing to take a chemical test on your first or second arrest:
- Your driving privileges can be suspended for refusing to submit to a chemical test
- Your driving privileges can be suspended if the chemical test shows a blood alcohol level above .08 for adults, and above .02 for minors
- Your driving privileges can be suspended if the chemical test shows a positive reading for a controlled dangerous substance
DWI and DUI In New Orleans
Bloom Legal serves the greater New Orleans area for all DWI and DUI charges. The areas outside of New Orleans, including the East Bank, West Bank, Northshore, and Riverside Parishes, produce a significant number of DUI arrests each year. This is understandable given the citywide embracement of a constant party atmosphere that is unparalleled throughout the United States or abroad. Many of these arrests are of individuals visiting the city for any number of the local festivals, parades, conventions, sporting events, and parties held on a regular basis, who have then gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle after having too much to drink. Some of the more popular events will draw out more prevalent and invasive law enforcement efforts by local officials in order to curb out of control behavior, which may lead to some individual’s rights being violated in the process of a DWI or DUI arrest.
Bloom Legal regularly caters to tourists and other clients facing DWI and DUI arrests in New Orleans from one or more of the following events, including:
- Mardi Gras, occurring in and around the Garden District all the way to the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. Fat Tuesday is March 8, 2011, February 21, 2012, February 12, 2013, March 4, 2014, and February 17, 2015.
- New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, running at the Fair Grounds Race Course from April 29th until May 8th, 2011.
- Southern Decadence, celebrated in and around the French Quarter in the week prior to Labor Day in September every year.
- Voodoo Music Experience, which is a three-day, weekend long music festival featuring hundreds of mainstream and local artists on the last weekend before Halloween – October 29, 30 and 31, 2010.
- French Quarter Festival, which celebrates the areas of Canal Street, Bourbon Street, Pauger Street, and St. Anne’s Street as a cultural center of New Orleans traditions and heritage – April 8-10, 2011.
- Various Major Holiday Celebrations, including Halloween, New Year’s Eve and Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, Easter, Martin Luther King Day, July 4th and more.
- Numerous Sporting Events, including the Sugar Bowl, the Bayou Classic, the New Orleans Hornets games, the New Orleans Saints games, the Zurich Classic, the New Orleans Zephyrs games at Zephyr Field in Metairie, and the 2013 Superbowl in New Orleans!
- Harrah’s New Orleans, operating a constant party atmosphere of gaming, dining, and entertainment
In addition to these events, the Earnest N. Morial Convention Center is host to numerous conventions, events, balls, parties, and galas throughout the year, which may result in drivers leaving the venue with an illegal blood alcohol content, thus facing possible DWI or DUI arrest. Even locals visiting the Downtown New Orleans areas and individuals in the suburb areas of Metairie and Gretna are not immune to DWI and DUI arrests, and Bloom Legal consistently has counseled clients from these areas in navigating their DWI or DUI charge and then expunging these charges and arrests from their record. For a consultation on your rights, contact Bloom Legal today.
Let us help you by contacting us today. Give Bloom Legal a call at 504.599.9997 or fill out the form located below.