You may consider yourself someone who can drink alcohol responsibly and not let the consumption have any negative impact on your life. However, does that description truly fit your situation? Many people with alcohol abuse issues do not realize they have abuse problems or deny that a problem exists.

While you may think that you can ignore such an issue, it can significantly affect your life if police stop your vehicle after suspecting you of driving while intoxicated. Certainly, this type of scenario could happen to even just a casual consumer of alcohol. However, what happens if this stop is not your first or even your second?

Penalties for repeat offenses

As is the case with many other types of crimes, the penalties for DWI convictions increase in severity if Louisiana authorities consider you a repeat offender. After your first conviction, you may have told yourself that you would not end up in this type of situation again. Unfortunately, if you have an alcohol addiction, the booze may call more of the shots than you think. In the event of additional DWI convictions within 10 years of your first conviction, you could face the following penalties:

  • Second offense: If a conviction for a second DWI occurs, you could face fines ranging from $750 to $1,000 if your blood alcohol concentration level was below .20 percent and fines of $1,000 if your BAC was over .20 percent. You could also potentially face 30 days to six months in jail.
  • Third offense: A third-time conviction for DWI within 10 years could result in a fine of $2,000 and prison time of one to five years. You must also install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and authorities could seize, impound and sell your vehicle.

These possible penalties could also differ in the event that you enter into probation programs, complete 240 hours of community services and meet other stipulations. Therefore, it is important to know your legal options.

Working with your legal counsel

Because your case differs from other DWI cases and because repeat offender charges may apply, you certainly want to understand how the details of your predicament could affect the outcomes. Working with your legal counsel could allow you to obtain a clearer idea of your options and help you to work toward the best possible results for your particular case.