Operating a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content above the legal limit is considered a criminal offense in Louisiana. As with every other state, the BAC must be below .08 to legally operate a motor vehicle. Most states impose harsher penalties for a certain level of BAC. In Louisiana, that level is .15 or higher. A person who has been charged with operating under the influence of alcohol may have better results in court when represented by an OUI Defense Attorney.
Even for a first-time charge of OUI, the defendant risks being sentenced to time in jail, along with having to pay a steep fine and deal with license suspension. The license is automatically suspended for 90 days, and the person must pay to have it reinstated. The fine can be as high as $1,000. Long-term consequences typically include a hefty spike in automotive insurance rates.
Some states do not allow plea bargains for charges associated with drinking and driving, but Louisiana does. An OUI Defense Attorney may be able to convince the district attorney to reduce an OUI charge to a charge of reckless driving instead. This particular offense would be reckless driving with alcohol involved, commonly called wet reckless. That is still a serious offense, but generally has less serious consequences that an OUI conviction does.
A defense lawyer may find enough evidence supporting the client to convince the district attorney to drop the charges altogether. If that does not happen, a judge might dismiss the case because of this evidence. The client might have a health condition that could make breath test results questionable, for example. Uncontrolled diabetes is associated with falsely high BAC readings, and so is gastroesophageal reflux disease that causes chronic heartburn.
When a Clean Record Is Imperative
People who operate a commercial vehicle for a living may have a clean driving record as a job requirement. They especially need a lawyer such as Chris Richard, attorney at law, to help them try to overcome a charge of OUI without reducing the offense to reckless driving. More information is available at the website chrisrichardattorney.com.