Leesville, LA- Impaired driving accounts for one-third of fatal accidents and tens of thousands of injuries throughout the U.S. every year. Everyone knows driving drunk is illegal, but they do it anyone with little regard to the harm they can cause to others. To curtail DUIs, lawmakers in Louisiana passed laws making the consequences tougher for convicted offenders.

Several changes to Louisiana’s drunk driving laws went into effect on January 1st so it’s important for residents to know what new penalties they are facing if they get driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Prior to the law changes, a person could be ordered to spend a maximum of ten days in jail for a first DUI offense. However, under the new law, a convicted DUI offender can be sentenced to a minimum of 10 days in jail with a maximum of 6 months, WWLTV reports. 

If an offender manages to avoid jail and are sentenced to probation, they can expect it to entail at least 32 hours of community service. They will also be required to attend a driver improvement course and a substance abuse program.

A DUI conviction means a person will have their driver’s license revoked unless they agree to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. With these devices, a motorist must blow into a breathalyzer and if they are over the legal limit their car won’t start.

The more a person has to the drink and the higher their blood alcohol level, the more they will pay in fines. Additionally, there are mandatory jail requirements for drunken drivers under the age of 21.

Too many people fail to understand the seriousness of a DUI charge and often think they can address their charges on their own or with the advice of family for friends. Aside from driving drunk in the first place, not enlisting an experienced Louisiana DUI attorney is one of the biggest mistakes people make.

Even if you think there is a solid case against you, you should not plead guilty without speaking with a lawyer first. And you need to speak with one that is well-versed in Louisiana DUI laws. They have knowledge and insight that you don’t and they find a strong defense might just allow you to avoid conviction or at least get reduced charges.

If your Leesville DUI attorney doesn’t think you will be able to avoid conviction based on the evidence against you, they know of other avenues to explore so you can avoid jail time. You may be eligible for a plea bargain or negotiate for a plea bargain or alternate sentencing for your DUI charge.

Alternate sentencing allows an offender to address their addiction and help them conquer it so they don’t have any more run-ins with the law. It’s foolhardy to try and take on a DUI charge without an experienced attorney on your side and you could be facing severe consequences which the right legal counsel can help you avoid.