Louisiana DUI Penalties

Louisiana DUI laws and penalties

Every State in the United States has been given the authority to write their own laws on Driving Under the Influence, or better known as DUI. Within this article we will explore the different DUI laws in the State of Louisiana, and their penalties. To begin with, Louisiana has what is known as a ten year "Lookback Period". This means than any prior DUI offenses you have aquired within the previous ten years will be relevant for sentencing on the current DUI you are now facing. This is also known as a "washout" period. Louisiana uses both DUI, Driving Under the Influence, as well as DWI, Driving While Intoxicated, as their terminology. 

What constitutes a high BAC for a DUI/DWI in Louisiana?

  • Under 21: .02%
  • 21 or Older: .08%
  • Commercial: .04%

There is never an acceptable time to drink and drive, as your vision, reasoning, along with your mental capacity to make important decisions and judgments is severely hindered and are not capable of bouncing back to what you were able to perform without alcohol in your system. Each person is different and their tolerance for alcohol is severely unpredictable making it impossible to say how many drinks is "normal" or not. This is what requires law enforcement to perform chemical testing on suspecting DUI/DWI offenders. If you are pulled over and requested to take a chemical test to determine your BAC, or Blood Alcohol Content, the State of Louisiana has an implied consent law. This means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. For refusal to take a chemical test, the penalties are as follows:

  • First Offense:  6 month license suspension
  • Second Offense: 6 month license suspension 
  • Third Offense: 2 days minimum jail term

What are the penalties within the Louisiana DUI/DWI law?

There are several penalties within the Louisiana DUI laws, and we will explore those here in this section. Should you be pulled over and found guilty of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol, or Driving While Intoxicated, within the boarders of the State of Louisiana, the following are the penalties you will be facing: 

Penalty of Jail

  • First Offense: 2 days to 6 months
  • Second Offense: 30 days up to 6 months
  • Third Offense: 45 days up to 5 years
  • Fourth Offense: 75 days up to 30 years

Penalties and Fines

  • First Offense: $1,000
  • Second Offense: $1,000
  • Third Offense: $2,000
  • Fourth Offense: $5,000

Penalty of License Suspension

  • First Offense: 90 days
  • Second Offense: 1 year
  • Third Offense: 2 years
  • Fourth Offense: 2 years

Penalty of Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

  • First Offense: Possible
  • Second Offense: Possible
  • Third Offense: Yes
  • Fourth Offense: Yes


It is important to note that laws change, as well as their interpretation and application of them. Due to the fact that there are multiple jurisdictions within a State and each may choose to enforce the laws in different ways, it is important to prepare for the unexpected. For this reason it would be in your best interest to retain the services of an experienced and professional DUI/DWI lawyer who is well versed in Louisiana DUI law, and is capable of giving you the direction you need for your specific case along with being fully aware of the current laws pertaining to DUI. 


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Category: DUI and DWI