Drunk driving is being taken very seriously in the Baton Rouge area, as well as through the rest of the state of Louisiana and the entire United States. The penalties within Louisiana are already very severe for this traffic offense, and they may be even harsher in coming years due to political attempts at reducing repeat offenses. There was much local news coverage of these efforts and the potential changes to the state’s laws.
Meeting in Baton Rouge discussed stricter drunk driving laws
Politicians met in Baton Rouge to discuss enhanced penalties for drunk drivers in the state of Louisiana. The main point of the bill is that all first offenders would be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their car. As of now, this is not necessarily required after someone is convicted of drunk driving. A second offense would require one of these devices for at least four years on the offender’s car. Relevant data has shown that ignition interlock devices are very promising, as they tend to reduce recidivism rates by over sixty percent. Advocates from Mothers Against Drunk Driving were among those who had made statements regarding the increased effectiveness of the new regulations and their support for the bill.
What are Louisiana’s penalties for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
The specific term for drunk driving that is used in the state’s laws in “operating while intoxicated.”
DUI regulations and penalties in the state of Louisiana are similar to many other states. The legal limit for all non-commercial drivers over 21 years of age is a .08 blood alcohol concentration in a chemical test of breath, blood, or urine. There is also a 90 day license suspension and $1000 fine. However, as someone picks up more DUI charges within a ten year period the penalties can be much more severe, including license suspensions of at least one year and jail time of at least 30 days. Penalties are also increased once someone’s blood alcohol concentration reaches .15 or above. Repeat offenders can be forced to attend some kind of substance abuse or outpatient treatment program. Any presence of illegal drugs in a person’s body will carry the same penalties as drunk driving. These laws apply to all kinds of motor vehicles including any boats or all terrain vehicles as well.
As this listing shows, the ignition interlock devices are not mandatory for first offenders, and usually only part of a sentence for repeat drunk drivers as of now.
How can these charges be fought?
Prosecutors will sometimes allow criminal defendants to make a plea deal that convicts them of a lesser offense such as reckless driving. However, this can be difficult to do when someone has prior drunk driving offenses or if they were well over the legal limit for their blood alcohol concentration. An experienced DUI lawyer may know how to negotiate more effectively with the local prosecutor’s office, or file various kinds of constitutional motions to get certain pieces of evidence suppressed. If any important evidence can be excluded from the trial, it makes the state’s job of proving the charges beyond all reasonable doubt much more difficult.
DUI Defense lawyers can speak with you in Baton Rouge
If you are facing any kind of penalties related to drunk driving, it is important to get legal help as soon as possible. Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf offer expert defense solutions for those charged in the Baton Rouge area.