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What is Underage DWI in Louisiana?

Underage DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in Louisiana refers to the criminal offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and being under the legal drinking age of 21.


What is Underage DWI in Louisiana?
What is Underage DWI in Louisiana?

Louisiana law enforcement handles (DWI) by implementing various penalties like fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment.


In addition, a conviction for an underage DWI can have long-lasting consequences, including increased insurance rates, difficulty obtaining employment, and a criminal record. Drivers under the age of 21 are required to understand the seriousness of this offense and its consequences.


This blog post will provide in-depth information into what comprises underage DWI in Louisiana and its repercussions.


What Do We Mean By Underage DWI in Louisiana?


Underage DWI in Louisiana refers to the crime of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% or higher for individuals under the age of 21. In addition, Louisiana law describes a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% or more as impaired, regardless of the person's capability to safely drive a vehicle. You must note that the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is lower than the statutory limit for adult drivers, which stands at.08%.


Understanding The Penalties for Underage DWI in Louisiana


If a minor is convicted of underage DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in Louisiana, they will face a spectrum of legal consequences, including:


  • Fines: A minor may have to settle monetary fines of up to $100 for a primary offense and up to $1,000 for subsequent violations.

  • Driving License suspension: A primary offense of underage DWI results in a 90-day driving license suspension, and succeeding violations can lead to a 1-year license suspension.

  • Community Service: The tribunal may also demand a minor complete community service as part of their sentence.

  • Alcohol Education Courses: A minor may be directed to attend alcohol education courses or substance abuse therapy as part of their punishment.

  • Detention: The driver may be sentenced to jail for up to 6 months.


In addition, a minor convicted of underage DWI in Louisiana will have a criminal history, which can have enduring repercussions, such as problems finding a job or obtaining a professional license.


What Are The DWI Implications for College Students in Louisiana?


Louisiana observes a zero-tolerance approach to underage DWI, meaning that even a small amount of alcohol consumption can lead to penalties. A DWI sentence or case can affect a student's eligibility for scholarships, economic aid, and student loans. It can also result in suspension or expulsion from the university.


Consequences Of Denying DWI tests in Louisiana


With underage DWI, the law mandates that people under 21 must agree to a blood and breath test if the officials suspect them of driving while intoxicated. Denying these blood and breath tests can result in significant repercussions, including fines and suspension of driver's licenses.


In addition, underage drivers who deny a breath or blood test may encounter harsher punishments. The legal alcohol limit for people under 21 is .02% blood alcohol concentration compared to the .08% limit for those over 21. Below are some consequences of denying DWI tests in Louisiana:


  • Criminal Penalties: Denying a breath or blood test can lead to criminal accusations and raised penalties for DWI if you are condemned.

  • Administrative License Revocation (ALR): Denying a breath or blood test in Louisiana can automatically suspend your driving license through the ALR process.

  • Proof for Prosecution: The prosecution may utilize your denial of a breath or blood test in a DWI trial as proof of guilt.

  • Stiffer Fines for Underage DWI: If you are under 21 and decline a blood or breath test, you will encounter more stringent punishments, including higher fines and longer license suspensions.

  • Long-Term Outcomes: Refusing a DWI trial in Louisiana can have long-term effects on your criminal history and driving privileges.

Final Words


In a nutshell, underage DWI is a severe crime in Louisiana, and convicted minors encounter extreme consequences, including fines, license suspension, community service, and a criminal history. Moreover, if a minor is arrested for underage DWI in Louisiana, it is necessary to seek the assistance of a professional DWI attorney.


A DWI attorney can help the minor comprehend the accusations against them, guide them through the legal system, and work with the prosecutor to get the case dismissed or negotiate a plea bargain.


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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