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Louisiana Drugged Driving

In Louisiana a person is guilty of DUI if he or she drives a motor vehicle under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. 14:98 (A)(1)(c) (2010).

Implied Consent

  • Any person, regardless of age, who operates a motor vehicle upon the public highways of Louisiana shall be deemed to have given consent, to a chemical test or tests of his blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his blood, and the presence of any abused substance or controlled dangerous substance. Id. §§ 32:661-2.
  • In all criminal cases where intoxication is an issue, any certificate or writing made with respect to the chemical analyses of a person's blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance, shall be admissible as evidence. Id. § 32:662.1.
  • After submitting to the chemical test, the driver at their own expense may have a qualified person of his own choosing administer additional chemical tests. The cost of any such additional test shall be at the expense of the tested person. The inability of the driver to obtain additional tests shall not preclude the admission of the test(s) taken at the direction officer, unless the driver was denied rights guaranteed to him by law. Id. § 32:664.

Penalties

  • First offense misdemeanor – fine of $300-$1,000 (plus fees); jail for a period of 10 days to 6 months (all jail time can be suspended); 32 hours of community service; substance abuse programs; license suspension for 90 days. Id. § 14:98(B)(1).
  • Second Offense misdemeanor – fine of $750-$1,000 (plus fees); jail for a period of 30 days to 6 months (all but 48 hours of jail time can be suspended); 240 hours community service; substance abuse evaluation; license suspension for 1 year. Id. § 14:98(C)(1).
  • Third offense felony - mandatory $2,000 fine; jail for a period of 1 to 5 years (all but 1 year of jail time can be suspended); substance abuse class; possible seizure and sale of the vehicle being operated; driver's license suspension for 2 years. Id. § 14:98(D)(1).
  • Fourth offense felony - mandatory $5,000 fine; jail for 10 to 30 years (all but 2 years of jail time can be suspended); possible vehicle seizure and sale of the vehicle being operated at the time of arrest with the proceeds forfeited to the state; license suspension 2 years; mandatory psychological testing. Id. § 14:98(E).

Other Penalties & Penalty Enhancers

  • Child Endangerment – mandatory minimum sentences are imposed if a child 12 years of age or younger was a passenger in the vehicle when the defendant was arrested. Id. § 14:98(J).
Child Endangerment Mandatory Minimums, as per Id. § 14:98(J).
DWI First Offense

10 days in jail

DWI Second Offense

30 days in jail

DWI Third Offense

1 year in jail

DWI Fourth Offense

10 years in jail

Sobriety Checkpoints

In Louisiana, sobriety checkpoints are upheld under the state Constitution.

The Louisiana Constitution does not prohibit use of checkpoints, so long as guidelines are carefully constructed so as to provide a minimum interference with individual rights. Under constitutional balancing test, checkpoints are valid when conducted pursuant to neutral guidelines limiting discretion of field officer, and state has legitimate interest in deterring drivers from taking to roads without insurance or under the influence of alcohol/drugs. State v. Jackson, 764 So.2d 64 (La. 2000).

Case Law

State v. Parry, 985 So.2d 771 (2008) -- In order to convict, the state need only prove that the defendant was operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.