Drunk driving laws in Louisiana and across the country are already strict, but they may be getting tougher. The standard legal blood alcohol content limit is .08 percent in all states and the District of Columbia. However, on Dec. 30, Utah will lead the way in introducing a lower BAC of .05 percent. This represents a significant reduction from the current legal limit and a much tougher standards; it could also lead to significantly more arrests for drunk driving.
Over a million people were taken into custody for drunk driving throughout the country in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, it represents just 1 percent of those who reported drinking while driving in the United States annually. To be considered driving while under the influence of alcohol, a Louisiana motorist in most cases needs to have a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.
New Orleans is known for a few things, such as their warm weather, close proximity to the gulf, Bourbon Street and Mardis Gras. All of these reasons cause locals and tourists to visit the city, most of them partaking in celebrations or consuming alcohol. While this is a perfectly legal action, it is not legal to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol that puts the driver over the legal limit or is not capable of driving safely. Such a situation could result in a DUI charge, causing a motorist to face serious penalties.
Getting stopped for drunk driving is something many individuals do not experience. However, with movies, cop shows, news casts and other sources, the overall process is common knowledge. After checking insurance and plates, the police officer will force you to conduct field sobriety tests and perhaps a Breathalyzer test. In the end, a person who has been charged a DUI or DWI may face the suspension or termination of his or her driver's license, an increase in his or her insurance rates and a mark on his or her record.
Louisiana is one of eight states across the country that allow attachment of ignition interlock devices to vehicles even if the person is a first-time offender of drunk driving. This is a considerably serious provision, as not only is an ignition interlock device costly to install, it also prevents the driver from having a preset alcohol limit (even within a legal limit) while driving.
Many people in the New Orleans area probably know that it is illegal to drive with more than .08 blood alcohol content in their system. This blog has even discussed how our law firm will use strategies to attack the results of the police's breath or blood test, as they are not always reliable and, in some cases, were not lawfully obtained.
Although a previous post on this blog discussed the numerous ways is which the Breathalyzer machine police use to officially check a Louisiana resident's blood alcohol content can be wrong, many New Orleans residents and guests to this city may still be afraid to challenge a drunk driving charge that almost inevitably follows a failed breath test. Some people, and even some attorneys, may take on the attitude that the machine simply does not lie.
Many residents of New Orleans, Louisiana who get pulled over for drunk driving may be tempted to just plead guilty and accept their punishment. While sometimes this is in a person's best interests, sometimes people might do this because they do not think they can beat the charge. Specifically, they may think that their driving was not that bad, but the Breathalyzer test they took said they were over the legal limit, and the machine does not lie.
A man was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving following a fatal pedestrian accident in Mandeville, a Louisiana city not far from New Orleans. Although the man was charged with a first DWI, because of the pedestrian's death, the man also faces a negligent homicide charge. Together, these charges could land the driver in jail for a substantial period of time and could also mean fines, strict probation and a lengthy license suspension.