Underage DWI, as defined by Louisiana Revised Statute 14.98.1, is the operation of a motor vehicle by a person who is under the age of 21 and who has a BAC between .02 and under .08. If the BAC is .08 or above, then the person is charged with an adult DWI, regardless of age.
Penalties for DUI Under 21 in Louisiana
- First Conviction: $100 to $250 fine, plus court approved substance abuse and driver education program
- Second Conviction: $150 to $500 fine, ten days imprisonment; or probation with ten days of community service, possible substance abuse treatment and screening, and court ordered treatment programs
Refusing DWI Tests in Underage DWI Cases
No mention is made in the law of the case where an offender simply refuses to blow into the Intoxilizer device to measure BAC (blood alcohol content). Therefore, a reasonable conclusion is that if the arrested subject has any alcohol in him at all, it is probably advisable to consider not blowing at all.
For an average person small of stature, it probably would not take more than a single beer to reach .02.
How a DWI Under 21 Affects Your Future
The good news is that an underage DWI cannot be used against a person in a DWI charge. The bad news is that nothing in the law prevents it from being put onto the driver’s record. If the underage DWI charge is discovered by an insurance company or employer, then you can still suffer expensive consequences.
In many respects a conviction for DWI under the age of 21 is just as serious as an adult DWI and should be defended vigorously.
Underage Driver’s License Suspension
If a person is tested and has a BAC over .02, then his license shall be suspended for 180 days.