DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) are the identical charge in Louisiana. Depending on the state, some refer to the charge as DWI and some refer to it as DUI or even OUI or OWI. The technical language used in Louisiana is found in La. R.S. 14:98 which is titled Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.
Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated in Louisiana is basically the operating of a vehicle when the operator is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. The drugs could even be prescription drugs for which the operator had a valid prescription.
The offender is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol if he/she blows the same or over the legal limit of .08 BAC. If the operator is under the age of twenty-one, the legal limit is .02. Blood alcohol content resulting from a breathalyzer test or blood test is not the only conclusive evidence used to convict someone of a DWI. Other facts concerning the operator’s impairment may be admissible.
Regardless of how Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated is described, a DWI is a DUI in Louisiana.
The Difference Between DWI and DUI
For many people, DWI and DUI could look very similar yet very confusing indeed. This is the same in Louisiana. However, these are the same at least in the state of Louisiana. DWI is known as driving while intoxicated while DUI refers to driving under the influence. In some areas in the country, they are even referred to as OUI which would mean operating under the influence or OWI which would mean operating with intoxication. But what is the implication of causing such an offense?
When the law speaks about these terms in Louisiana, it would typically refer to the act of operating or driving any vehicle while you are under the influence of alcohol or any substance as provided by law. This would include prescription drugs and would also cover watercraft and aircraft. This means that you would likely be charged for this offense if you are over the limit for alcohol content in your blood. The limit is currently .08
According to the provisions in La. R.S 14:98, driving under the influence would mean the crime of operating a vehicle as stated earlier while you are intoxicated. Before you can convict anyone for the crime of DWI, you must have been under the influence of alcoholic beverages or your blood level of alcohol must have been over.08. Substances which are also included in the schedule I-IV would also fall into this category.
If you are being charged with the offense of DWI or DUI, then it is possibly time to take decisive actions. There are many things which you probably have no idea of. Having a criminal defense lawyer with you would be the best thing you would do at this point. If you live in St. Tammany parish, then one of the law firms which would fit your needs would be the Barkemeyer law firm. Our DWI lawyers make sure that we use our vast knowledge of the crime to give our very best to our clients. Thus, we make sure that you have a good defense for anything that is thrown at you.
Penalties for DUI
In Covington and indeed entire Louisiana, persons who are deemed to have committed this offense are not left off the hook easily. There are several penalties which have been put in place to act as a deterrent to the commission of the crime.
The amount of punishment which you are going to get from it would depend on if you are a first offender or not. Normally, the first two offenses would be deemed to be a misdemeanor. After that, the offenses would then be considered a felony. The penalties which would be inflicted would increase with the number of offenses which is committed.
If you are a first time offender, you would probably get a fine which is less than $1000. The jail time would be between 6 days to 3 months. However, if you are a second time offender, the fine would still be less than $1000 but not less than $750. The jail time would also not exceed 6 months. After the second offense, you would have to pay a fine of not less than $2000. The jail time would also significantly increase with an offender now having to stay for about a year upwards to five years in prison for committing a felony.
In some situations, the judge might suspend the conviction against the violator and place them on probation. This means that they would be supervised to check the quality of their driving.
The charges which would be placed for this DWI could be painful especially when it comes to felony matters. Most times, you would surely have to pay hefty fines and would probably do jail time. This is all the more reason why you would need to get yourself a lawyer as soon as you can.
Our Covington DUI attorneys have focused in various criminal cases along the road and can boost of having an incredible experience in DUI cases. Having our DWI lawyers handle your cases would surely give your chances a boost and ensure that you get great representation. With a team of lawyers digging around to find the best way out of the situation, you should have a good chance at the end of the day.
Higher Blood Alcohol Content
If you have a much higher blood alcohol content, then the result could be stiffer punishments. Generally, if you have a blood alcohol content which is above the .15 mark, then you must serve jail time for at least two days no matter whether you are just a first offender or not. If you have .20, then the fine of $750 upwards to $1000. If repeated, the fine payable would be $1000. This would be accompanied by a suspension of your driver’s license for the next four years.
You could also get much stiffer punishments should you refuse to take a test that has been requested by a police officer. You would be looking at about a year suspension of your driver’s license for any refusal.
Get a DUI defense lawyer in Louisiana
Getting a DUI defense lawyer in Louisiana is crucial. First, the chances of being converted without a lawyer would be very high. The repercussions that could come if convicted are also not favorable. You could lose your jobs and many opportunities that could have been open. You could also lose the trust of the people who are closest to you and even your community at large.
When you get a defense lawyer in Louisiana to help you out with your DUI charge, you would be giving yourself the best chance for success. You would also be able to have less stress planning for other things such as trial and other activities related to the offense.
Our DUI defense lawyers at the Barkemeyer law firm would be ready to assist you through this difficult period. We make it our goal to aggressively defend you to give you the best shot possible.