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The non-criminal consequences of a driving while intoxicated arrest or conviction

Many people are aware that a DWI conviction will result in an order to pay a fine and serve some jail time or spend some time on probation with driver improvement classes, community service, and substance abuse treatment; however, many people are not aware of the non-criminal consequences that can result from a DWI arrest or conviction.

Collateral consequences of a DWI arrest

1. Suspension of your driving privileges

If you are arrested for DWI, you will be asked to submit a breath sample or to a urine or blood test to determine your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). If you refuse or submit and your BAC is above a .08 (or .01 if you are under 21), the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your driving privileges. This suspension will occur automatically 30 days after your arrest unless you file an appeal using a form provided to you at the time of your arrest.

2. Licensing Requirements

If you hold a state license, for example, if you are a nurse or attorney, you are required to report arrests to your licensing agency. Failure to do so can cause your license to be suspended or disciplinary proceedings to be instituted. 

Collateral consequences of a DWI conviction

1. Suspension of your driving privileges

A DWI conviction will result in your driver’s license being suspended again. This suspension will run concurrently with (i.e., at the same time as) the suspension related to the breath test; but there is no right to appeal this suspension. For both suspensions, you may be eligible for a hardship license if you comply with certain requirements which may include the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle and the purchase of SR-22 insurance.

2. Insurance Consequences

Your car insurance rates may increase or your car insurance may cancel your policy entirely after a DWI conviction. You may also be required to purchase additional “high-risk” insurance in order to get your driver’s license reinstated by the DMV.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DWI, call us at (318) 459-9111 to set up a consult to discuss the criminal and non-criminal consequences of such an arrest.