What to do if you get a DWI in Louisiana


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In Louisiana, the offense of Driving while intoxicated is strictly frowned upon and the laws put in place for it highly suggests the same. Unfortunately, there has been no significant decline in Driving while intoxicated offences in the state, sadly report of arrest involving DWI situations keep coming in on a daily basis. This follows that with the more arrest made for DWI infractions, there are a lot of convictions involving DWI on a normal basis. To this, if you have been convicted of a DWI in Louisiana, there are a lot of things that you have to consider. However, most people often do not know what or how to do anything when they have a DWI or when they've been convicted of it. For that purpose, this article will aim to shed light on the proper things to do when you have a DWI in Louisiana. However, before fully diving into our main issue, it is proper we establish the scope of driving while intoxicated under Louisiana DWI laws. To this, a brief look into the concept of DWI in Louisiana will be highlighted below.


The Concept of a DWI In Louisiana

By virtue of Louisiana laws, there is a lot to know about driving while intoxicated.  First of which is its definition. A DWI is defined as making use of a motor vehicle I.e. driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or of a controlled dangerous substance drug. Therefore, if you drive your vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance drug, you are committing a DWI. Furthermore, the scope of a DWI's definition is not necessarily streamlined to the above-given definition, as other instances can connote DWI. These circumstances include driving when your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is beyond .08 and when driving other the influence of non-controlled substance drug that can be gotten via prescription or otherwise. However, 3 out of the 4 aforesaid scenarios that constitute a DWI are pretty straight forward, left for the 4th. Which in this case, is the issue of your blood-alcohol content?

The BAC is measured by a Breathalyzer, and you can face one at a traffic stop if a police officer reasonably believes you're anything but sober. Furthermore, by virtue of Louisiana DWI laws, if your BAC is above .08, then you're deemed to be driving while intoxicated. However, several factors do change the set measurement for your BAC. To this, if you're driving and below the age of 21, your BAC set measurement is at .02. Hence, if your breathalyzer test indicates a score above .02, you're driving while intoxicated. Also, in regards to the Breathalyzer test, refusing to take it is not really an option in Louisiana. This is because, under Louisiana laws, every licensed driver is deemed to have given what is known as 'implied consent' to the Breathalyzer test. Furthermore, penalties for a DWI increase by the number of times you commit a DWI, as a first and second DWI offence is treated as a misdemeanor, while a third and any subsequent DWI offence is a felony in the state of Louisiana.


What to do if Have a DWI in Louisiana

Following the above highlight given on the concept of a DWI in Louisiana, it is proper we face the focal point of this article, which what to do if you a DWI in Louisiana? For the above question, the answers are as follows:

  • Seek Legal Aid: The moment you find yourself in a DWI situation, it is imperative you seek legal aid wherever you are. So, if you're in Lafayette, Baton Rouge or any other parish in Louisiana, ensure you get a DWI attorney. Employing the services of a DWI attorney is a very smart move for you, as they can offer you help in a plethora number of ways. From getting your charges reduced or downsized to a lesser charge, to possibly removing or sealing a DWI from your criminal record. Ultimately, no matter the help you seek from a DWI attorney, it will always be beneficial for you when you can get it.
  • Setting a Bond: In Louisiana, a necessary aspect of your DWI experience is being arraigned in front of a judge and setting a bond. First off, a bond is the amount you are to pay before you can leave custody and await your trial. The bond amount is to ensure you appear in court for all your court dates. However, upon failure to attend, you forfeit your bond. In Louisiana, it is referred to as Appearance bond and the amount differs, with your prior history of DWI offences being the differentiating factor.
  • Insurance: By virtue of the DWI laws of Louisiana, there is high importance placed on whether you have insurance or not. If you're a DWI offender, it is better to have prior insurance than not have, as it will aid to ease your sentencing, if you are convicted. To this, if you do not have any prior insurance plan and you find yourself in a DWI situation, you're very likely to face stiffer sentencing. Therefore, you should show you have insurance upon your arraignment. It is pertinent to state that the reason for this is to have legal and financial coverage, which will go a long way on DWI cases.
  • Get an SR-22: In Louisiana, your driver's license will likely be seized upon your DWI infraction. When this happens, you'll need an SR-22 from your insurers. An SR-22 is a certificate showing financial stability, and it basically helps you show that you have the minimum amount of insurance required in Louisiana, in order to reinstate your driver's license.

In conclusion, the answers given above are to what you are to do when you find yourself in a DWI situation. Of all the answers, I will say the most important will be getting a DWI attorney who normally can enlighten and help you with the other aspects you're to take care of. Also, I will say the best answer to anything related to drinking while driving, is don't drink and drive.

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