Lafayette City Judge Looks to Rewrite Louisiana DWI Laws
Posted on Nov 14, 2013 in DUI/DWI, Local Issues
In the last few years, there have been many changes to the DWI laws in Louisiana, and Lafayette City Judge Douglas Saloom is calling for clarification and simplification of these laws. Judge Saloom presented to the Legislative Task Force on DWI/Vehicular Homicide many discrepancies which exist in the laws. He urged that the laws were unorganized and cumbersome. For instance, “If you get a third third-offense violation, you spend five years in jail,” which is less than the original third-offense penalty, Saloom said. “I thought the Legislature should address that problem.” Other problems include situations where defendants are being charged multiple times for the same offense because they were allowed to plead to a lesser offense. Judge Saloom also proposed drug screening and evaluation for abuse of other substances besides alcohol as he often finds defendants were impaired as a result of not just alcohol. Sen. Jonathan Perry, R-Kaplan, a member of the Task Force said he and Task Force Chairman Sen. Jody Amedee, R-Gonzales, will work with Judge Saloom to try to implement some of the changes Saloom proposed Tuesday. Their goal is to present new legislation to the task force in January for consideration. If approved, these changes would be introduced in next year’s legislative session. Overall, it appears the Task Force will work with Judge Saloom in an attempt to re-organize the laws making them more cohesive and comprehensible. However, it does appear that some of the changes may be geared toward stricter penalties and implications of the laws for defendants.