DWI Attorney Shreveport, LA
Josh Clayton is now a Founding Member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and has twice attended Dave Cox's seminar "Winning DUI Cases"
Shreveport and Bossier City DWIs
Caught with a DWI in north Louisiana? Josh Clayton Law serves Shreveport, Bossier City and surrounding areas for representation of individuals facing penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol.
A charge of driving while intoxicated, commonly known in Louisiana as a DWI, can result in fines, imprisonment or both. Whether it’s your first offense or you’ve received multiple DWI charges before, hiring a lawyer to represent you heightens your chances of getting the least severe penalty.
How Can I Be Charged with a DWI?
Louisiana implements some of the toughest DWI penalties in the United States. If you are driving with a blood alcohol concentration greater than the following limits in Shreveport or Bossier City, as well as anywhere else in Louisiana, you’ll be charged with a DWI:
- Drivers 21 & older: .08 percent
- Drivers under 21: .02 percent
- Commercial drivers: .04 percent
What Happens If I Get a DWI?
DWI penalties vary depending on the number of offenses. The following DWI offenses stand in Louisiana, including Shreveport and Bossier City:
- First-offense DWIs can include a 90-day license suspension, up to six months of jail time, up to $1,000 in fines and the requirement of a built-in breathalyzer, known as an ignition interlock device, in the automobile that must be used each time before starting the engine.
- Second-offense DWIs can include a mandatory 48-hour jail sentence or 48-hour community service penalty, a 45-day driving suspension, an additional six-month jail sentence, up to $1,000 in fines and a one-year extension of license suspension.
- Third-offense DWIs can include a mandatory 45-day to five-year jail sentence, a two-year license suspension, $2,000 in fines and home incarceration.
- Fourth-offense DWIs can include a mandatory 75-day to 30-year jail sentence, a two-year license suspension, $5,000 in fines, vehicle confiscation, community service, a six-week inpatient substance abuse treatment program and home incarceration.
Your Choice in Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana
The Do’s and Dont’s of DWI
Do: Know your limits, your weight, maybe even your body mass index. Know what medication your are taking. Know the effects of alcohol on your body. Every BODY is different and everyone metabolizes alcohol at a different rate. Even your diet can affect your Breathalyzer results. Talk to your DWI lawyerabout how alcohol could affect you.
Do: Plan ahead. If you need your car for work tomorrow, don’t drive it to the bar. Call a cab or a friend to get there before you have even had a drink. Avoid the temptation of driving home “after a few drinks.”
Do: Consume food with alcohol if you plan to drive after even one drink.
If you get pulled over:
Do: Be respectful to the Officer at all times. Remember – he (or she) is doing his or her job.
Do: Say “Yes Sir/No Sir, Yes Ma’am / No Ma’am”
Do: Cooperate with instructions, and be polite if you decide to refuse any of the Field Tests (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, aka “the pin test”, Walk & Turn, and One-Legged Stand). No DWI lawyer wants to see you on video acting aggressive or disrespectful during these tests.
Do: Remember that every word you say, and every action you make, is being audio recorded and video recorded. The less you say, the better chance your DWI lawyer has in defending your sobriety.
DO: Understand that you HAVE THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to refuse to answer any questions and to refuse to perform any tests. Also understand that refusal to answer questions or perform tests will likely result in your arrest. Ask your DWI lawyer about specific penalties.
DO: Understand that there are civil penalties (i.e., suspension of driver’s license / driving privileges) associated with submitting to, and failing, the Breathalyzer exam, and the penalties become more severe if your Blood Alcohol Concentration is over 0.19%.
DO: Understand that there are civil penalties for refusal to take the Breathalyzer. These penalties are enhanced if you have previously refused the test. Your license will get suspended, and a DWI attorney can advise you of your rights insofar as requesting an administrative hearing, appealing the suspension in district court, requesting the issuance of a hardship license, petitioning the court for a stay of the suspension or petitioning the court for the issuance of a restricted hardship license.
DO: Understand that in some circumstances, the installation of an ignition interlock device will be required by the Office of Motor Vehicles as a condition of reinstatement of driving privileges. A good DWI lawyer can assist you in this process.
DO: CALL A CAB. This is much more affordable than calling a Shreveport or Bossier DWI attorney.
Don’t: Drive after you have consumed alcohol unless you absolutely positive that you can successfully pass a Breathalyzer examination.
Don’t: Admit to having had anything to drink. As any DWI lawyer will tell you, your answer will be used against you in the police report. If the officer “smells an odor of alcoholic impurities emanating from [your] person” and you deny that you have had a drink, the report will reflect that you are lying. If you admit to drinking prior to being stopped, the report is written to indicate you “admitted to” impaired driving. Instead, politely advise the officer that you would rather not answer that question.
Don’t: Take any of the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, aka “the pin test”, One-Leg Stand, Walk-and-Turn) if you are impaired. Officers are trained to find and take note of “clues” revealed during these tests, and these clues purportedly indicate impairment. Officers are trained to find clues in all test-takers.
Don’t: Talk too much. You’re on camera. One day a Judge may watch this video.
Don’t: Make the mistake of thinking you can “Pass” the HGN, One-Leg Stand, or Walk-and-Turn Tests. The HGN test, if performed properly (and on rare occasions, it is), can be reliable. However, the officer does not have to correctly perform the test to grade the test. He or she will grade it as he sees fit. As a good DWI attorney will tell you, the other two are divided-attention tests designed to allow officers to observe you attempt to perform physical tasks while mentally processing verbal instructions. In most cases, the officer’s report will reflect that she or he observed “clues” consistent with driver impairment. ON. ALL. THREE. TESTS.
Don’t: Believe the hype of “Never take the Breathalyzer” – If you know that you have had only some alcohol, and you know your body weight, and you have eaten food, and you know how your body processes/metabolizes alcohol, and you have done your homework on BAC levels – you may want to take the test and avoid the driver’s license suspension penalties associated with refusing the test.
Don’t: Be ignorant of the law. Know your rights. Know the penalties. Read what can happen here if you submit or refuse the Breathalyzer Test. Talk to a DWI lawyer about the consequences and costs of getting a DWI / DUI.
Don’t: Drink and drive. You’re risking your life and everyone else’s on the road. You may hurt yourself, or someone you love who is riding in your car. You may kill someone. Even if someone who has not been drinking causes an accident, the law might still hold YOU responsible because of your impairment.