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Can I Get a DWI in Louisiana For Being High on Drugs While Driving?

While many people might feel guarded against legal penalties after consuming drugs or weed as they think DWI laws are only related to drunk driving, this is not always the case. And you can even get a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) ticket for smoking weed or doing drugs.

Can I Get a DWI in Louisiana For Being High on Drugs While Driving?
Can I Get a DWI in Louisiana For Being High on Drugs While Driving?

In addition, the state of Louisiana treats driving high under the influence of drugs like an alcohol-related DWI, and the DWI punishments can be just as stringent. Keep reading below to learn more about DWI provisions in Louisiana related to being high on drugs while driving.


What Do We Mean By DWI?


DWI, in simpler terms, means “Driving While Intoxicated,” and in some states in the USA, it is also known as DUI or “Driving Under the Influence”. Also, you must note that these two phrases have equivalent implications and are predominantly based on the discretion of each state. And being convicted for DWI indicates that you are driving the vehicle under the influence of an impairing or intoxicating substance.


While the intoxicating substance that is the subject of most DWI arrests is alcohol, it can also be medication pills consumed with or without a prescription, cough syrup, marijuana, or other powerful drugs. Therefore, if the intoxicating substance damages your reaction times, perception, or general brain function or is considered by law to be a substance that does so, it counts under DWI or DUI regulation in Louisiana.


Louisiana DWI Laws For Being High On Drugs While Driving


In Louisiana, an individual is guilty of DWI if they drive a motor vehicle under the effect of any controlled, hazardous substance. Also, you must note that Tetrahydrocabbinal (THC) is a strong chemical combination found in marijuana.


The chemical combinations of THC are soaked by the body, providing smokers with an instant high. Moreover, this THC chemical will stay in the human body for an extended time, depending on how much they smoke. Therefore, if the person smokes, inhales, or consumes marijuana orally, the THC will get caught in an oral test. And when stopped by the police under such circumstances, the person can get booked with a DWI charge.


Understanding the penalties in Lousiana for possession of marijuana


In Louisiana, if you are booked in a drug offense for the first time and are found with less than fourteen grams of marijuana, you will be levied a fine of $100.00. On the other hand, if you possess more than fourteen grams, you may be levied $500.00 and condemned to prison for six months. If you are a drug dealer and it is your primary offense, you will be imprisoned for five to 30 years. Below is a detailed overview of DWI penalties in Louisiana for being high on drugs.


First Offense DW

  • A monetary penalty of $300-$1000

  • Driver’s license suspended for one year

  • Probation with a minimum prerequisite of two days in prison, a court-approved drug abuse program, and participation in court-authorized driver improvement training.

  • Detention for 10 days to 6 months

  • May be requested to conduct a variety of community service undertakings.

Second Offense DWI

  • A monetary penalty of $750-$1000

  • Driver’s license suspended for two years

  • 48 obligatory days of prison time without suspension of sentence or parole

  • Detention for 30 days to 6 months

  • Probation comprises a 15-day prison stay and drug abuse training.

  • May be requested to perform a variety of community service undertakings.

Third Offense DWI

  • A monetary penalty of $2000

  • Driver’s license suspended for three years

  • 240 hours of community service

  • Detention for 1-5 years

  • Must participate in a court-appointed therapy program

  • Psychological assessment

Fourth Offense DWI

  • A monetary penalty of $5000

  • Probation with possible vehicle confiscation and sale of the vehicle being used at the time of detention with the earnings forfeited to the state

  • Driver’s license suspended for three years

  • Detention for 10 to 30 years

  • Mandatory psychological testing.

Other DWI penalties in Louisiana for being high on drugs while driving


  • Child Endangerment – Obligatory minimum penalties are levied if a child 12 years of age or younger was a passenger in the vehicle when the driver was high on drugs.

  • Use of marijuana while driving — Consuming marijuana is illegal for the driver or any passenger in a motor vehicle while driving a vehicle on a public highway. And the violators will be liable to pay a fine of $100, or the police officer may also detain the driver if they are repeat offenders.

Contact Us Today!


Gaynell Williams LLC, Attorney at Law, offers a free initial consultation to discuss your case. The first consultation can be in person, or it can be virtual on the Internet. Call Gaynell Williams today at (504) 302-2462 for a free consultation as soon as possible. We will work around your schedule. New Orleans lawyers Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law, have offices in Gretna and Downtown New Orleans by appointment only.


This information has been provided for informational purposes, is not intended, and should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult your attorney regarding any specific situation under Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may affect your legal rights.

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