An Overview of DUI Penalties

Posted by Aaron D. Lawrence | May 23, 2022 | 0 Comments

When facing driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) charges, people may have concerns about what a conviction or guilty plea might mean. Even for a first-time offense, the court may impose a range of penalties, some of which may have lasting implications.

Understanding the potential consequences that people may face if they plead guilty or the court convicts them of DWI may help them prepare for the future.


According to state law, the sentence for a DWI conviction may include a fine. For a first-time offense, the court may fine drivers a minimum of $300 and a maximum of $1,000.

Jail time

A DWI sentence may also include jail time. The court may order drivers to imprisonment for a period of up to six months. Depending on the circumstances, the court may order people to perform community service.

Substance abuse program

If placed on probation for DWI, the court may require participation in an approved substance abuse program as a condition. Such programs may include a substance abuse assessment by a licensed clinician. Additionally, the court may require participation in driver improvement programs.

License Suspension

According to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety, the potential penalties of a DWI conviction may also include a driver's license suspension. For a first-time offense, people may lose their driving privileges for one year. If they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.20 or higher, drivers face a 2-year license suspension period.

The court may adjust people's DWI sentences based on the available options and the circumstances of their cases. Understanding their rights and the options available may help drivers mitigate the potential fallout of their arrests on their personal and professional lives. Each of these penalties are made worse for commercial drivers as well as subsequent offenders.

If you are facing DWI/DUI charges and have unanswered questions or need help navigating or potentially avoiding penalties like these call or contact Lawrence Law Firm at 318.232.4000.

The blog published by Lawrence Law Firm is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing blog posts, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.

About the Author

Aaron D. Lawrence

Aaron is a Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Attorney in Ruston, Louisiana. He received his Juris Doctor and Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law from the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center. He received his Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences from the University of North Tex...


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