Driver’s License Suspension Following a DUI

A DUI in Louisiana guarantees a license suspension whether you submit to a blood alcohol test or not. The suspension periods can last for years and reinstatement costs range from $50 to $300. You’ll also be required to obtain an SR-22 license, which increases your insurance rates. Only with a skilled DUI attorney can you recover your suspended license. Call Bates and McMillin today to save your license and your money!

Drivers pulled over for a DUI in Louisiana have the ability to refuse the Breathalyzer test as well as the blood and urine tests. Unfortunately, that refusal also guarantees a license suspension. A driver is subject to Louisiana’s implied consent law that allows legal penalties for failure to submit to a BAC test. Only with a skilled DUI attorney can you recover your suspended license due to a violation of the implied consent law.

The Implied Consent Law of Louisiana states:

“Any person, regardless of age, who operates a motor vehicle upon the public highways of this state shall be deemed to have given consent…to a chemical test or tests of his blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his blood, and the presence of any abused substance or controlled dangerous substance as set forth in R.S. 40:964 in his blood if arrested for any offense arising out of acts alleged to have been committed while the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while believed to be under the influence of alcoholic beverages or any abused substance or controlled dangerous substance.” LA Rev Stat § 32:661

In other words, a driver faces legal consequences if he or she refuses a blood alcohol test when pulled over for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Whether a person gives a blood or urine sample or blows into a Breathalyzer is typically chosen by the arresting officer. In some jurisdictions, (Jefferson Parish, for example) if the driver refuses, the police will obtain a warrant from a judge to have blood drawn as part of the “no-refusal” initiative. Most local jurisdictions, however, do not presently do this on a regular basis. If a blood search warrant is issued, you lose the option for a refusal.

Though some counties allow law enforcement to obtain a blood search warrant year-round, other counties in Louisiana allow the warrant during heavy travel periods such as Thanksgiving, Labor Day and the 4th of July.

Defenses Against Implied Consent Violations

A police officer is required to warn the driver that if he refuses to submit to the tests, his license will be suspended. This notification is called the “Implied Consent Warning.” Typically, the police officer does not inform the driver that if he blows .08 or over, the license will be suspended anyway. Regardless, if a member of law enforcement fails to present the implied consent warning, a trained DUI attorney may be able to persuade a judge to not punish you for the refusal. It is important to note, that unlike the BAC tests, refusal to participate in a field sobriety test DOES NOT have any punishment.

The other key defense to combating the State’s charges against you is to prove that there was no probable cause to pull you over for DUI in the first place. The officer must show that there was enough evidence to require a chemical BAC test as described in Louisiana’s Implied Consent law. If you were not driving in a dangerous or questionable manner and you were not at a DUI checkpoint, there is potential for the DUI charges to be dropped.

If the probable cause for your DUI arrest was questionable or if the blood alcohol test was not administered properly, the trained criminal defense attorneys at our firm will fight for your rights and earn you the justice you deserve.

Length of License Suspensions for DUI Arrests

If you refused to participate in a blood alcohol test:

  • 180 days for your 1st offense.
  • 545 days for each subsequent refusal or offense.

If you’re 21 years old or older and have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher:

  • 90 days for your 1st offense
  • 365 days for your 2nd, 3rd or 4th offense.

If you’re under 21 years old and have a BAC level of 0.02% or higher:

  • 180 days for your 1st offense.
  • 365 days for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th offense.

If you have a prior DUI conviction, your license will receive the following, additional suspensions:

  • 2 years for your 2nd conviction.
  • 4 years for your 2nd conviction, if your BAC level is 0.2% or more.
  • 3 years for your 3rd DWI conviction.

You must apply for an administrative hearing within 15 days of your arrest to save your license.

Once the charge of DWI is made, the driver’s license is suspended and a temporary driving permit for 30 days is issued. To fight a license suspension, the driver must apply for an administrative hearing within 15 days of the arrest. Without a hearing, your licenses will be suspended on a first offense for 90 days if you submitted to the test and blew .08, or a year if you refuse to blow.

As the above list indicates, there are much longer potential periods of suspension if there have been previous arrests and convictions for DWI, or if you blow a high BAC, or if there have been previous refusals to submit to the test. A third refusal or a refusal in DUI accidents, such as vehicular homicide or negligent injuring cases, trigger consequences including a $1,000 fine and a jail time for up to 6 months. When you’ve had 2 or more refusals, you are also ineligible for the hardship license which would permit driving to necessary locations such as your job or medical appointments.

When Bates and McMillin represents a client facing suspension or charges of DWI, the legal team fills out and files all the necessary forms to apply for the administrative hearing.The old system of allowing a hearing in which one’s attorney could interrogate the arresting officers has been abolished as of August 1, 2012. In other words, our rights to due process of law have been denied by the legislature. Now, without an attorney, you have no chance at all to save your license. Even with an attorney, it is more of an uphill fight.

Fortunately, it is possible to prevail with an attorney who is well-versed and knowledgeable in the law of driver’s license suspension due to DWI.

The DUI defense attorneys at Bates and McMillin know Louisiana’s driver’s license suspension laws. Because of their hard work and knowledge on the subject, these legal professionals give you the best chance of avoiding a suspension.

Call 985-643-0316 if you were arrested for DWI in any of the following parishes:

Call 504-259-7461 if you were arrested for DWI in any other parish in Louisiana, including:

Video Transcript

“I’m James Bates, DWI defense attorney. The first thing we will address is the driver’s license suspension. We will file the papers to request an administrative hearing within 15 days of your arrest, if you call us in time. If that deadline is not met, your license will be automatically suspended.

The Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers have persuaded our Legislature to forbid, at administrative hearings, the cross-examination of police officers who file charges of DWI against a driver. That makes it more important than ever that you have a highly qualified and trained DWI defense attorney, to fight the suspension of your driver’s license. CONTACT ME NOW for an appointment to prevent your driver’s license from being suspended, because of your failure to act.”