If you are drunk and on the road in Louisiana, police won’t much care whether you are behind the wheel of a car or riding on a motorcycle. Driving while intoxicated is just as much of a crime on two wheels as it is on four. If you are a biker charged with a Louisiana DWI, you are facing the same serious consequences as do drivers of cars accused of the same offense. Call a New Orleans motorcycle DWI attorney right away for assistance.
That is in part because alcohol plays just as big a role in fatal motorcycle accidents as it does in fatal car wrecks. In fact, it plays an even bigger role. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, in 2015, 27 percent of motorcycle riders who were involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent (the legal limit in Louisiana and all other states) or over compared with 21 percent of passenger car drivers.
What is Louisiana Motorcycle DWI?
There is no separate law for motorcycle DWI in Louisiana. The same DWI law that applies to cars applies to motorcycles, as they are both “motor vehicles” as defined in the law.
La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §14:98 provides that:
The crime of operating a vehicle while intoxicated is the operating of any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, vessel, or other means of conveyance when:
- The operator is under the influence of alcoholic beverages
- The operator’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more (0.02 percent or more for operators under 21 years of age)
- The operator is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance, or
- The operator is under the influence of a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs that are not controlled dangerous substances and that are legally obtainable with or without a prescription.
Penalties for Motorcycle DWI
In Louisiana, the penalties for motorcycle DWI vary depending on whether you have prior convictions. For example:
- For a first offense, you face between two days and six months of incarceration. Your fine may total as much as $1,000 and your license will be suspended for 90 days.
- For a second offense, you face between 30 days and six months of incarceration. You may be fined $1,000 and your license may be suspended for one year if convicted.
- For a third offense, you may be incarcerated between 45 days and five years. You face a $2,000 fine and a two-year license suspension. You will be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your motorcycle at your expense when you get your license back. A motorcycle IID works the same way as it does on a car. It is connected to the ignition and the biker must blow into the device to start the bike and blow again for regular rolling re-tests.
- For a fourth offense, you may face a term of incarceration between 75 days and 30 years long. You will be fined $5,000 and face a two-year license suspension. An ignition interlock device is required when you get your license back.
- If you refuse to submit to a chemical test in Louisiana, you face an automatic license suspension of six months for a first or second offense. You also can be incarcerated for two days for a third refusal to submit to a chemical test.
Call a New Orleans Motorcycle DWI Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a motorcycle DWI in New Orleans, Louisiana or elsewhere in the state, don’t take it lightly. A conviction can cost you your freedom and your future. There are defenses to Louisiana DWI charges that an experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney can assert on your behalf.
A New Orleans motorcycle DWI attorney at Bloom Legal have extensive experience defending against motorcycle DWI and related charges. We are available 24/7 to offer you a free consultation to discuss your case. Please call us at 504-636-6729 or contact us online.
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Posted by: Zachary Klos