Charges of Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs in Louisiana Carries Stiff Penalties
Posted on Apr 20, 2016 in DUI/DWI
If you are impaired either by alcohol, prescriptions drugs, illegal drugs and even medications purchased over-the-counter if it causes drowsiness or otherwise impairs your judgment, you can be ticketed, detained or arrested under Louisiana law.
Like alcohol, drugs can be detected in blood, urine and hair. If the police suspect you are driving while under the influence of drugs, they will more than likely conduct such a test to use the evidence against you.
If convicted, whether for driving while under the influence of drugs or while intoxicated, the penalties are the same and can include: heavy fines, a suspended or revoked license, probation or even jail time. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you should retain a local New Orleans DWI/DUI lawyer as early as possible in the process.
What is the Standard for a “Drugged Driving” Arrest?
If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher, you can be arrested in Louisiana for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence (DUI). Please be aware that you can be arrested for DUI or DWI in Louisiana if you are driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination of the two.
Any time you do not have normal use of your mental and physical faculties, you are considered to be “under the influence.” The police will establish your impairment first through field sobriety testing, and then likely, with either a blood or urine test.
Criminal Penalties for First Time Offenders
If you are arrested for DWI/DUI because of drugs or alcohol, a conviction will carry a fine between $300 to $1000, as well as court costs and fees. You can also face a jail sentence even for a first offense ranging from 10 days to 6 months.
The court can suspend all of the jail time if your BAC is less than .15%, which is often the case for clients who were arrested for driving while impaired by drugs, rather than alcohol. If your BAC is higher than .15%, Louisiana law requires at least 48 hours of the jail time to be served.
Additionally, under the law, anyone driving a vehicle is presumed to have automatically given consent to a chemical test for the purpose of quantifying the amount of alcohol or drugs in his or her bloodstream. Below are more details regarding the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in Louisiana, as well as other details about Louisiana DWI/DUI law.
Administrative Penalties for a First Offense
If it is your first offense, in addition to the jail sentence and fine, you will be required to serve up to 32 hours of community service, complete a substance abuse evaluation program approved by the state, and/or complete driver improvement classes. Your license will also be suspended for 90 days for a first offense.
If, however, you refused a chemical test at the time of your arrest, your driving privileges will be revoked for six months, rather than 90 days. You may be eligible for a hardship driver’s license during the suspension period so you can get to work or school and/or keep up with your familial obligations. To do this, however, you must have an ignition interlock device installed on your car in a state-approved installation center, file Form SR-22, and pay all necessary fees.
Call Bloom Legal For Help
The team at Bloom Legal handles these type of case everyday. We offer skilled and effective legal defense to anybody arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Call 504-599-9997 to schedule your initial consultation and let our New Orleans DUI lawyers help you protect your reputation and get your life back on track.