Louisiana DUI Laws

Louisiana DUI laws require drivers to have 15/30/25 insurance. Convicted drivers can face from 6 months to 5 years of jail time and a felony charge.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: May 12, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Louisiana has strict DUI penalties
  • If you receive a DUI and you do not have insurance, you will likely face the maximum punishment
  • Insurance following a DUI can be difficult to obtain, but you must have it in order to drive


Louisiana DUI laws are typical of nationwide “driving under the influence” laws. Car insurance rates tend to go up with each DUI.

In addition, DUI makes it more like that an insurer will drop you as a client, or the insurer will raise rates very high to force off those unfortunate enough to have a DUI conviction.

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Louisiana DUI Legal Alcohol Limit

Under Louisiana DUI laws, a person who is found with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 will be declared driving impaired. This is approximately four drinks per hour for a 170-pound man and three drinks for a 140-pound woman.

A DUI driver is more likely to receive stiffer sentences if they drive without insurance. Maintaining insurance is important both for the financial coverage and for the legal coverage in the event of a DUI conviction.

If this person is driving under the influence and does not have vehicle insurance, they are in violation of two Louisiana laws and the penalties below are more likely to be enforced at the maximum limit.

With insurance in effect, a DUI driver demonstrates that they have exercised a level of common sense and good judgment. Without it, courts are more likely to impose maximum sentences. This is especially true in the event of an accident.

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Louisiana DUI Penalties: First Conviction

First offense DUI can result in a jail sentence of up to 6 months, a possible fine of $1,000 and a 90-day license suspension. If a person is under 21, the license suspension lasts six months.

Insurance Loss

For many with a DUI conviction, insurance rates can skyrocket. Those with a DUI conviction may lose their insurance or become ineligible for many car insurance options on the market today.

With a loss of insurance, many people cannot drive to work. To ensure that you are not in violation of Louisiana insurance laws, you should utilize internet comparison to determine which insurance companies are willing to ensure you after a DUI.

It is more expensive not to have insurance than to have insurance. Criminal penalties are stiffer for those without insurance who get a DUI or have a traffic accident.

Those with a DUI who get in an accident are more likely to be sentenced to jail time on a DUI conviction.

Louisiana DUI Penalties: Second DUI Conviction

A second DUI conviction results in a mandatory 48-hour sentence with a possibility of up to six months, a $1,000 fine and a one-year suspension of the person’s driver’s license. This offense is the last one before a felony law takes effect.

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Second DUI Insurance Loss

For those with a second DUI conviction, it is imperative that they seek insurance before reinstatement of their license.

If their insurer drops their coverage, those with a second DUI conviction can use auto insurance comparison shopping on the internet to find a new insurance carrier.

Louisiana DUI Felony Law

Most states have some form of a felony law. In Alabama, a driver who gets a third DUI will automatically be tried for a felony. The second DUI must have occurred with the last five years for this to take effect.

Third DUI Conviction

A third DUI conviction results in a felony offense.

A conviction includes mandatory jail time of 45 days plus a possibility of five years in prison.

In addition, a person’s license is suspended for two years and a fine of $2,000 may be assessed. Courts can impose a six-week substance abuse inpatient treatment with home incarceration for the remainder of the sentence.

Courts can also require 30 days of community service.

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Checking on Your Suspended License

According to the Lousiana Department of Motor Vehicles, you can check on your suspended or disqualified license by telephone only. They do not offer this service on line.

To check, you can call 1-225-925-6146. You should select option 1. Make sure to have your driver’s license in hand. You will need your number.

For more help, you can visit the local Motor Vehicle Reinstatement Office. According to the Louisiana DMV, if you have a disqualified license, driving is illegal. Be sure to have a friend drive you if you visit the DMV in person.

Before having your license renewed, you will want to have secured insurance. A DUI can make insurance rates unaffordable. Your insurer may raise rates just to force you to drop the insurance carrier.

If this happens or if your insurance carrier drops you, it is important to look for new insurance. The best way to find new insurance is through comparison via the internet.

With a fair comparison, you can find adequate car insurance and be ready when it is time to renew your suspended license.

Insurance Cancellation: A Red Flag On Your License

If you lose your insurance because of a DUI, that is a red flag on your license. You must get new insurance as quickly as possible. Each day you wait in Louisiana can result in fines.

If you go 11 to 30 days without car insurance, you will be fined $50. The fine goes up to $125 from 31 – 90 days and to $225 for 91 days or more.

That’s an incentive to keep your insurance current. It allows you to use your funds for insurance, not fines!

Louisiana DUI Statistics

According the Federal Bureau of Investigations 2009 Report, Louisiana had 8,500 DUI arrests.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, there were more than 400 Louisiana DUI related traffic deaths in 2008.

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Crime Victims Reparations

A Louisiana car insurance law can require restitution be paid to victims of a car crash in which one driver was driving under the influence. This reparations law may require the driver to pay $10,000 or more.

Louisiana Insurance Laws

If you drive in Louisiana, the law requires minimum car insurance. You must have 15/30/25 . This stands for $15,000 per person in an accident, $30,000 per accident for bodily injury or death, and $25,000 for property damage.

Louisiana Is A Tort Law State

Unlike some states that are no fault states, Louisiana is a tort law state. This means that you can be found at fault for an accident. You and your insurance may be held solely responsible for the damages.

This makes it critical that you have adequate auto insurance, or you could face bankruptcy if you are found at fault.

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Comparing Insurance Rates

When comparing Louisiana car insurance rates, be sure you are comparing exactly the same two products. Policies should be examined side by side to see how they compare not only in price but in their coverage.

Medical Coverage

The medical coverage component in car insurance may seem unnecessary to those who carry health insurance. However, car insurance medical coverage has no deductibles and no co-pays.

It carries no restrictions on which doctors, hospitals or specialists you see. Also, medical coverage is extended to everyone in the vehicle. This is very important as a safeguard against lawsuits from any passengers because it is a guarantee of medical treatment.

Liability Or Collision Coverage

Liability coverage and collision coverage are two different things. Liability covers you if you are the cause of an accident. It pays the other driver for their losses. Collision coverage covers your car if it sustains damage.

This may include replacing the car if it is totaled. Your premium is higher with collision coverage but the cost can be managed by agreeing to a higher deductible. For instance, collision coverage costs less if the deductible is $1,000 instead of $500.

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Liability and Property Damage Coverage

Liability and property damage coverage take care of victims’ medical costs and property losses, usually vehicle damage, if you are at fault for an accident. Deciding how much coverage can be tricky.

However, it is important to understand that your liability does not end with how much your insurance company pays the victim. If there are additional costs, the victim can sue to seize your financial assets or property.

Make sure you have enough liability and property damage coverage to reasonably protect your assets.

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