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Vehicular Homicide in Louisiana: A Comprehensive Guide For 2023

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Vehicular homicide is basically a DWI that results in a death. For the vehicular homicide law to apply, the accident must lead to the death of another person other than the driver due to the negligence of a motor vehicle driver.

Vehicular Homicide in Louisiana
Vehicular Homicide in Louisiana

The reasons for vehicular homicide can include reckless driving, speeding, drunk driving, and gross negligence. Vehicular homicide is also called vehicular manslaughter in other states.

Who is at Risk?

Vehicular homicide is considered one of the most serious criminal offenses in the United States, and is a growing concern in Louisiana. Commonly, vehicular homicide can endanger the lives of people who may be

  • A pedestrian

  • A bystander

  • A cyclist

  • A passenger from another vehicle

  • Another driver

Vehicular Homicide in Louisiana

Louisiana laws are stringent when dealing with cases involving vehicular homicide. Under the rules and regulations specified under Louisiana law, any individual who contributes to or causes the death of another individual while driving a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be charged with vehicular homicide.

There can be several reasons behind such incidents, but the major ones include driving under the influence of substances like drugs or alcohol that can impair the driver’s hand-eye coordination. The following are the major reasons for most of the vehicle homicides in Louisiana.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

Louisiana law states that a driver who causes a lethal or fatal accident under the influence of intoxicating beverages like alcohol can be charged with vehicular homicide. The same includes drivers whose blood alcohol concentration measures 0.08% or more by weight based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood when driving a vehicle.

  • Driving After Consumption of Drugs

With vehicular homicide, Louisiana law penalizes a driver who causes a fatal crash under the influence of legal or illegal, prescribed or non-prescribed drugs. So, vehicular homicide cases can be imposed on drivers under the following circumstances.

  • If the Individual is under the influence of a controlled substance (like abused substances, designer drugs, or illegal drugs). These substances must fall under Louisiana law's Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V laws.

  • If any detectable level of a metabolite thereof or controlled substance is found in the driver’s bloodstream.

  • If the driver has taken legal or non-prescribed medications, regardless of the amount.

  • Vehicular homicide cases also apply to drivers who may cause accidents under the influence of both alcohol and drugs.

Louisiana’s Vehicular Homicide Penalties

Vehicular homicide is considered a felony in Louisiana. So, convicted drivers may be penalized by law and by regulatory authorities.

  • A person convicted of vehicular homicide in Louisiana can be required to pay not less than $2,000 and not greater than $15,000 as a penalty or fine.

  • The convicted driver may also face a two-year driver’s license suspension, including 5 to 30 years in prison, depending on the severity of the offense.

  • On the other hand, defendants with around 0.15% BAC ( Blood Alcohol Level Chart) have to face at least 5 years in prison.

  • For repeat offenders, imprisonment comes without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

  • Apart from that, all offenders of vehicular homicide must mandatorily attend a substance abuse program. The court may also ask them to complete a driver improvement program.

Legal Assistance for Vehicular Homicide in Louisiana

A person charged with vehicular homicide in Louisiana might wish to consider contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney. A vehicular homicide charge can lead to severe punishment by fines or imprisonment, as mentioned above. So, a skillful criminal trial lawyer may be the best resort to handle such cases, assess the overall situation, analyze all aspects of the incident, and build a strong argument for the driver accused of causing someone’s death.


Vehicular homicide is considered a serious offense in Louisiana. Having knowledge of the penalties and fines associated with vehicular homicide can discourage drivers from reckless driving. If you, a friend, or a relative has been charged with vehicular homicide, you should call an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. An experienced professional will help you cope with the legal consequences of the case.

Contact Us Today!

Have you been charged with vehicular homicide or another serious crime in Louisiana? Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law offers a free initial consultation to discuss your case. The first consultation can be in person or virtual, on the Internet. Call Gaynell Williams today at (504) 302-2462 for a free consultation as soon as possible.


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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