Getting behind the wheel after a few drinks is stupid. Everyone makes mistakes, though, including the police who stop you.
Drunk driving penalties can haunt you for years, even decades. You could end up paying large fines or serving jail time.
A tough stance against DUI/DWI
Louisiana is serious about cracking down on people who drink and drive. Even a first-time offender faces from 10 days to six months in jail and a fine of $300 to $1,000.
Probation is possible, although it means 48 hours in jail and 32 hours or more of community service. Also possible are substance and driver improvement programs. The installation of an ignition interlock device is another court option.
Penalties rise for a first-time offender with a blood alcohol content of 0.20% or more. More offenses mean fines up to $2,000, from one to five years in prison and seizure of your vehicle for sale at auction.
A tough stance in your defense
Prosecutors may seem to hold all the cards. They may have an officer’s report, a field sobriety test and the results of a breath analyzer test. You still have several sound strategies for defending yourself. You can question whether police had a valid reason for pulling you over. Without a reason, any evidence against you is not allowed in court.
The accuracy of field sobriety tests can vary, depending on the conditions. A walk-and-turn test is difficult on uneven pavement. Poor lighting conditions can affect your responses.
Even a breath analyzer test is not infallible. Police often lack adequate training for operating and maintaining the machines. The presence of toothpaste, breath mints or perfume can taint the results.
A tough future made easier
The facts of your case are not as clear as they may seem. You can raise doubts about the evidence against you.
You can beat a drunk driving charge with a convincing argument before a judge. The keys are hard work, research and your presentation in court.