2009 Changes in Louisiana’s DUI laws
The DUI laws in Louisiana have undergone significant changes over the past year as part of the ongoing effort to increase the stringency of these laws over the past two decades.
While these stronger laws are motivated by good intentions to keep the roads in Louisiana safer for all drivers, they can be confusing to the citizens of this state who are unaware of the changes and how the new laws can affect them.
The impact of these laws will have a larger effect in St. Tammany Parish where DUI and DWI laws are strictly enforced. If you are in need of an experienced DUI attorney in Covington, LA please contact us today.
2009 DUI Changes
Two of the most significant changes/additions are to Act 236 and Act 288.
Act 236: Suspended licenses & DUI charges
As of 2009, it is a criminal offense in the state of Louisiana to drive with a suspended license if that license was suspended as a result of a previous conviction for DWI or DUI, vehicular negligent injures, or vehicular manslaughter.
As a criminal offense, those charged with driving under a license suspended for the offenses listed above can now be arrested on the spot by police officers, taken to jail and charged accordingly.
– Those driving with a suspended license will serve a minimum of 15 days in jail and up to six months.
– Previously, offenders were generally ticketed and released.
Act 288: Refusing Breathalyzer
Another law that changed in 2009 regarding DUI in Louisiana is Act 288, which addresses the punishment for drivers who refuse to take a breathalyzer test when pulled over by police officers. In keeping with the trends regarding these laws, the new changes increase the penalties for refusal.
– Under the new law, a person who refuses a breathalyzer the first time will have their license suspended for one year. Those who are refusing for the second time can have their license suspended for five years. This is an increase from the former suspension periods of 180 and 545 days, respectively.
– The new law also eliminates the possibility of a hardship license if serious injury or death results from driving under the influence.
– However, this does not make it illegal to refuse the test; although one’s license can be suspended for refusal, they will not be charged with any crime.
Choose an experienced local DUI attorney
Only a lawyer with experience handling Louisiana and St. Tammany Parish DUI and DWI cases can tell you exactly how these changing laws affect you or your loved ones who may be facing DUI or DWI charges. Contact DAH Law today for a consultation at our office in Covington, Louisiana.