One of the most unfortunate inconveniences associated with a DWI arrest in Louisiana is the suspension of one's driver's license. The possession of a driver's license is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, the license can be suspended by the Department of Public Safety for many reasons. However, if the offender follows proper procedure, he may become eligible for a hardship license.
The arrestee's driver's license may be suspended as a result of refusing to take the breathalyzer. In Louisiana, everyone with a driver's license gives informed consent to take this test upon request. Therefore, when a person refuses, the State can suspend his/her driver's license for one year on the first refusal. The penalties increase with the number of refusals.
It is important to request an administrative hearing within thirty (30) days of arrest. If you do not request the hearing during that time, you waive it. You should have an attorney experienced at handling these types of hearings to attend and argue on your behalf.
If you submit to the breathalyzer and blow over the limit of .08 BAC, the State may suspend your license for ninety (90) days. If the offender is underage, the penalty is a suspension on six (6) months.
You have a right to a hearing to contest the suspension on a submittal. There may exist some technical defenses that your experienced lawyer can argue at the hearing. Once again, you or your attorney must request the hearing within thirty (30) days of the date of arrest or else you waive the right to it.
The State of Louisiana may suspend a person's driver's license if he/she was convicted of a DWI in criminal court. Typically, the period of suspension on a first offense DWI is one year. Depending on the number of prior DWI convictions, the period of suspension may vary. However, an experienced DWI attorney may be able to get you sentenced in a way to avoid the suspension.
In all the scenarios above, the State provides that the offender may apply for a restricted hardship license. An ignition interlock device will be required.
Contact a St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana DWI Lawyer at 985-888-0009.