Lafayette, LA- Drunken and drugged driving is a major problem in Louisiana, but a new report indicates that fewer and fewer impaired drivers are getting behind the wheel in the state.

The report from the state Highway Safety Commission showed that DWI deaths fell 38 percent over the past six years. In 2007, there were 375 impaired driving deaths but by 2013 the number of fatal DWI crashes fell to 264, the News Star reported.

A steep decline is always good news, but the report also found that DWI accidents still account for 40 percent of all fatal accidents in Louisiana. Officials in the state attribute the decline in fatal DWI accidents to tougher laws in the state.

In June, released an analysis of each state’s impaired driving laws and found that Louisiana has some of the strongest in the nation. The online finance journal found that Washington D.C. has the toughest impaired laws in the country, but Louisiana is not far behind coming in at the third strictest state on convicted DWI offenders.

WalletHub looked at minimum jail penalties, overall costs of fines, whether an offender is required to participate in an alcohol or drug treatment program and how long a driver has their license suspended.

Individuals, who are convicted of a DWI in Louisiana face a minimum of two days in jail and will lose their license for at least 90 days, possibly longer. They also face a minimum of $1,000 in fines and other courts costs.

In January, Louisiana DWI laws were made even stronger after state legislators passed a bill requiring first-time convicted to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles or their license will be revoked.

An impaired driving charge is major and anyone facing such a charge in Lafayette should get in touch with an attorney immediately. Getting legal counsel early will give you and your attorney the time you both need to build an effective challenge of your charges.

If you have questions about the charges you are facing and the potential penalties, you can contact one of our DWI lawyers in Louisiana. They will look at the evidence and help you decide what type of defense strategy will be best in your individual case. A DWI defense attorney can help you decide if a plea bargain is a good choice or if you will be better off taking your case to court. They know how to negotiate with prosecutors, but are also capable of building court case.

There is a lot at stake with a DWI conviction, so you need to take action and let USAttorneys help you find a lawyer near you to work on your case. On top of the penalties and costs, a DWI conviction on Louisiana will stay on your record for a minimum of ten years; that’s a long time to have a mistake hanging over your head.  You can do something about by retaining an attorney.