The most common brush with the long arm
of the law for law abiding citizens is the charge of driving
while intoxicated. If in fact you do consume alcohol and drive,
chances are that sooner or later you will at least be stopped
for your first offense DWI.
Louisiana has made numerous changes to
DWI laws over the past years and the legislature is currently
trying to criminalize the act of refusing to take a breathalyzer
test such that the person would suffer criminal consequences
for refusing to take the breathalyzer test.
At any rate, Louisiana law provides statutory
mandates for various levels of DWI such that first offense
through fourth offense has separate charges depending on the
number of times you have been arrested.
Also, there are constitutional issues
that can come into play as to whether or not a previous DWI
can be held against you, depending on whether or not you were
sentenced properly in prior cases.
At any rate, it is imperative that you
seek the advice of an attorney to help you minimize the charge
of DWI, especially if you have multiple DWI's.
Without a doubt, the best legal advice
regarding driving while intoxicated is to never, ever, consume
any type of alcohol even in modest amounts and then drive.
Further making driving while intoxicated
a serious crime, the legislature has chosen to make injuries
caused by DWI drivers one of the only areas in Louisiana law
where a Louisiana judge or jury can provide the injured victim
with punitive damages against the person driving while intoxicated,
awarding damages over and above the actual damages that were
caused in the accident.
To that end, driving while intoxicated
is a very serious issue that is routinely encountered by normally
law abiding citizens who have just not realized yet that driving
while intoxicated is a very, very serious crime.