In 2011, Louisiana had 226 drunk driving-related fatalities, making up 33 percent of total traffic deaths that year. While that might seem like a high number, Louisiana has significantly reduced drunk driving and DUI-related deaths by increasing enforcement efforts and enacting a mandatory all-offender interlock law in 2007. Once one of the top five states with the highest drunk driving-related fatalities per 100,000 people, Louisiana has seen a 40 percent decrease in drunk driving-related deaths since requiring interlocks for all drunk driving offenders.
Anyone who operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher in Louisiana is charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). Consequences of DWI in Louisiana include a fine, jail time, and driver’s license suspension.
- 1st Conviction: $300-$1,000 fine; 10 days to 6 months in jail; 1-year license suspension
- 2nd Conviction: $750-$1,000 fine; 30 days to 6 months in jail; 2-year license suspension
- 3rd Conviction: $2,000 fine; 1 to 5 years in jail; 3-year license suspension
- 4th and Subsequent Convictions: $5,000 fine; 10 to 30 years in jail; 3-year license suspension
All DWI consequences increase significantly if the drunk driving offender’s BAC was 0.20 or higher. Only jail times increase if the offender’s BAC was at least 0.15 and less than 0.20.
Louisiana also has a Zero Tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. Anyone who commits this offense is guilty of underage driving under the influence (UDUI), punishable by a $100 to $250 fine and participation in a substance abuse and driver improvement program after a first conviction and a $150 to $500 fine and 10 days to 3 months in jail after a second conviction.
Ignition Interlock Laws
All convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders, are required to install an ignition interlock in their vehicle once their driver’s license suspension period is over. Offenders must keep the device installed for the same length of time that their license was suspended or for at least 180 days, whichever is greater.