In Louisiana, a “per se” operating while impaired (OWI) offense is based on your blood alcohol content (BAC) when you were behind the wheel of your vehicle—not whether or not your driving abilities were actually impaired by alcohol. For adults over the age of 21, the legal limit is .08%. If your BAC was .15% or higher, you could be subject to additional penalties, such as increased jail time. Any person who has been charged with drunk driving after testing over Louisiana’s legal limit is strongly encouraged to retain the counsel of an OWI defense lawyer.
Penalties For A BAC Over The Legal Limit
If convicted of OWI with a BAC over the legal limit, you could face jail time, fines, mandatory participation in substance abuse treatment and driver improvement programs, and a suspended driver’s license. In some cases, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device mounted in your vehicle for an extended period of time. This device measures your BAC before the vehicle will start, and all of the costs associated the device–installation, monthly rental fees, and maintenance expenses–must be paid for out of pocket.
Is Fighting An Over The Limit Charge Possible?
Yes, fighting your charge is possible—even if your BAC is over the legal limit. Breathalyzer machines–like any other piece of equipment—are subject to errors and inaccuracies. Factors such as medical conditions, dental work, and even gum, mints, and mouthwash can impact your BAC reading.
Attorney J. Bradley Cockrell has helped countless Lafayette residents challenge the results of their BAC reading to further their defense. For information on how he can help you at this critical moment, please make an appointment now for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.