Louisiana RS 14:32.1. Vehicular homicide

A. Vehicular homicide is the killing of a human being caused proximately or caused directly by an offender engaged in the operation of, or in actual physical control of, any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other means of conveyance, whether or not the offender had the intent to cause death or great bodily harm, whenever any of the following conditions exists and such condition was a contributing factor to the killing:

(1) The operator is under the influence of alcoholic beverages as determined by chemical tests administered under the provisions of R.S. 32:662.

(2) The operator's blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more by weight based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood.

(3) The operator is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V as set forth in R.S. 40:964.

(4) The operator is under the influence of alcoholic beverages.

(5)(a) The operator is under the influence of a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs which are not controlled dangerous substances and which are legally obtainable with or without a prescription.

(b) It shall be an affirmative defense to any charge under this Paragraph pursuant to this Section that the label on the container of the prescription drug or the manufacturer's package of the drug does not contain a warning against combining the medication with alcohol.

(6) The operator is under the influence of one or more drugs which are not controlled dangerous substances and which are legally obtainable with or without a prescription and the influence is caused by the operator knowingly consuming quantities of the drug or drugs which substantially exceed the dosage prescribed by the physician or the dosage recommended by the manufacturer of the drug.

(7) The operator's blood has any detectable amount of any controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedule I, II, III, or IV as set forth in R.S. 40:964, or a metabolite of such controlled dangerous substance, that has not been medically ordered or prescribed for the individual.

B. Whoever commits the crime of vehicular homicide shall be fined not less than two thousand dollars nor more than fifteen thousand dollars and shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than five years nor more than thirty years. At least three years of the sentence of imprisonment shall be imposed without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. If the operator's blood alcohol concentration is 0.15 percent or more by weight based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood, then at least five years of the sentence of imprisonment shall be imposed without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. If the offender was previously convicted of a violation of R.S. 14:98, then at least five years of the sentence of imprisonment shall be imposed without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. The court shall require the offender to participate in a court-approved substance abuse program and may require the offender to participate in a court-approved driver improvement program. All driver improvement courses required under this Section shall include instruction on railroad grade crossing safety.

C. Whoever commits the crime of vehicular homicide shall be sentenced as an offender convicted of a crime of violence if the offender's blood alcohol concentration, at the time of the offense, exceeds 0.20 percent by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure Article 883, if the offense for which the offender was convicted pursuant to the provisions of this Section proximately or directly causes the death of two or more human beings, the offender shall be sentenced separately for each victim, and such sentences shall run consecutively. In calculating the number of deaths for purposes of this Subsection, a human being includes an unborn child.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 635, §1. Acts 1984, No. 855, §1; Acts 1989, No. 584, §1; Acts 1993, No. 410, §1, eff. June 9, 1993; Acts 1993, No. 415, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1120, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1019, §1, eff. July 11, 1997; Acts 1998, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 82, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1103, §1; Acts 2001, No. 781, §1, eff. Sept. 30, 2003; Acts 2001, No. 1163, §5; Acts 2003, No. 758, §1, eff. Sept. 30, 2003; Acts 2004, No. 381, §1; Acts 2004, No. 750, §1; Acts 2005, No. 32, §1; Acts 2006, No. 294, §1, eff. June 8, 2006; Acts 2008, No. 451, §2, eff. June 25, 2008; Acts 2012, No. 662, §1, eff. June 7, 2012; Acts 2014, No. 280, §1, eff. May 28, 2014; Acts 2014, No. 372, §1, eff. May 30, 2014.

NOTE: See Acts 2001, Nos. 781 and 1163, for effective dates. Acts 2001, No.1163, which is the later expression of legislative will, makes Paragraphs (A)(5) & (6) effective Aug. 15, 2001. 

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