Driving Driving Laws in Louisiana in 2023: How Much Alcohol Can You Drink and Drive?

Drink and drive laws in Louisiana

In Louisiana, a driver is deemed intoxicated (drunk) by the law if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is above 0.08% or 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. The BAC level is enough proof to convict someone of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).

One or two standard drinks are sufficient to exceed the 0.08% BAC limit. This value is only an estimate, as a person’s BAC may vary depending on factors like gender, weight, etc.

Please be aware that this article aims to educate readers on Louisiana’s drunk driving laws. This piece does not intend to endorse or promote drunk driving in any manner.

Driving while intoxicated with drugs or alcohol is prohibited in Louisiana.

In 2020, there were 828 fatal accidents involving intoxicated drivers in Louisiana. Drivers involved in 28% of these accidents had blood alcohol concentrations over 0.08%, and 21% had levels over 0.15%.

The government of Louisiana enforces DUI laws to combat drunk driving in the state. Thus, you must monitor your BAC level before getting behind the wheel.

Use an alcohol breathalyzer to ensure that your blood alcohol content is within Louisiana’s BAC legal limit. 

You may also consider getting a designated driver, using Uber, or calling a cab instead of driving.

Check Louisiana’s official website regularly to know more about the recent DUI driving laws and regulations.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Louisiana

In Louisiana, you will be convicted of driving under the influence if your blood alcohol content is 0.08% or above.

These limitations were implemented to reduce the frequency of drunk driving and drug-related car accidents.

Although the state enforces a 0.08% legal BAC limit, it’s important to remember that every person reacts to alcohol differently. Even a few sips of alcohol might knock some people out.

Some factors influence your BAC, including the following:

  • weight
  • gender
  • using prescribed medication
  • levels of anxiety and fatigue
  • alcohol consumption level

A BAC calculator or chart will help you establish the amount of alcohol you can drink before driving. Due to the fact that everyone’s reaction to alcohol is unique, these approaches might not be the best for everyone.

Utilizing a certified alcohol breathalyzer is still the most accurate way to determine your BAC.

Punishments for Drinking and Driving in Louisiana

The degrees of impairment depending on the BAC and other variables. A person’s appearance is often normal when their BAC is between 0.010% and 0.029%. But as BAC levels rise, the signs of alcohol intoxication become more noticeable.

DUI laws vary from state to state. Driving under the influence may have administrative and legal consequences. You must test your blood alcohol content before driving to avoid penalty. 

Below is an overview of DUI punishment in Louisiana.

Depending on the number of offenses, a DUI violator with a 0.08% BAC level may face the following penalties.

First Offense

  • Fines: $300-$1000
  • Jail Time: Ten days to 6 months imprisonment
  • License suspension: One-year suspension
  • Substance Abuse Evaluation and/or Treatment: Get examined for substance misuse by a licensed counselor and adhere to any prescribed treatment recommendations
  • Classes: Completion of a driving improvement program that the court has approved
  • Community service: May be ordered to perform a variety of community service projects

Second Offense

  • Fines: $750 to $1,000
  • Jail Time: Imprisonment of 30 days to six months 
  • License Suspension: Two years suspension of driving privileges
  • Substance Abuse Evaluation and/or Treatment: Must undergo a drug abuse assessment by a licensed counselor and adhere to any prescribed treatment plans.
  • Classes: Completion of a court-approved driver rehabilitation program.
  • Community Service: 240 hours
  • IID: Every vehicle the offender operates must be installed with an ignition interlock device for at least six months.

Third Offense

  • Fine: A $2,000 fine
  • Jail Time: One year to be spent without a sentence reduction, plus one to five years in jail with or without hard labor.
  • License Suspension: Three years of suspension
  • Substance Abuse Evaluation: Get evaluated for substance abuse by a licensed counselor.
  • Substance Abuse Treatment: A requirement to adhere to a four-week inpatient stay and up to 12 months of outpatient care.
  • Community Service: 240 hours
  • IID: During the probationary term, an ignition interlock must be installed in every vehicle the offender operates.
  • Vehicle Seizure: The offender’s car, which they were driving at the time of the offense, will be confiscated, impounded, and auctioned off.

SR22 in Louisiana

You must file an SR22 form with the Louisiana DMV before they issue you a new license, reinstate your license following the suspension or revocation term, or give you a hardship or restricted license. Additionally, you must keep your SR22 insurance for three years.

When Can You Drink and Drive in Louisiana?

As was already mentioned, everyone’s response to alcohol varies. The gender of a person is one factor that influences their blood alcohol level. Men and women have different BACs, according to studies.

Men’s ADH (alcohol dehydrogenase) concentrations are higher than women’s. Men have a rapid metabolism for alcohol, which is regulated mainly by these enzymes. Men, therefore, process alcohol more quickly than women do.

If you’re uncertain how much liquor you can safely drink before driving in Louisiana, you can use the advice below as a guide.

The information that follows is supported by research. Yet, because everyone processes alcohol differently, it may not apply to everyone.

How Many Bottles of Beers Can You Drink and Drive in Louisiana?

Drink beer and drive in Louisiana

After drinking a 12-ounce (350 ml) beer, a man who weighs around 72 kg (160 lbs) might have a blood alcohol content of 0.02%.

However, a lady of the same weight who consumed the same amount of beer could possess a BAC of 0.03%.

According to BAC charts, someone with a lighter physique may have a higher BAC.

You can keep under Louisiana’s legal BAC limit by drinking one to two beer bottles.

How Many Glasses of Wine Can You Consume and Drive in Louisiana?

The alcohol content of a standard wine serving (5 oz/142 ml) can range up to 12% ABV. Two glasses of wine are sufficient to reach the legal BAC level in Louisiana.

How Much Whiskey or Vodka Can You Drink and Drive in Louisiana?

An alcoholic beverage like vodka or whiskey can have an ABV of 40% in a single shot.

One to two shots of whiskey or vodka is enough to keep your blood alcohol level within Louisiana’s legal limit if you must drive after drinking.

Sticking to DUI Laws in Louisiana

Driving when intoxicated is dangerous. Every driver should be mindful of the risks of DUI and steer clear of it at all costs.

It is strongly advised not to drive after drinking. Even if you have just had a few drinks, you should never trust that your BAC and driving ability are safe. If you’re drunk, you should think about taking a different type of transportation rather than driving.

If you need to drive after drinking, be sure your BAC is below Louisiana’s allowed limit. You can precisely calculate your BAC level by using a reliable alcohol breathalyzer.

It’s a good idea to frequently visit the state’s official website to keep up with changes to Louisiana’s DUI driving regulations.

About the author

Ashley Cresswell

Ashley Cresswell is a former phlebotomist with a passion for road safety. During her time as a phlebotomist, Ashley administered over 1000 blood alcohol tests to impaired drivers and was shocked to discover that many of them were simply uninformed about the legal limits for driving under the influence. As a result, Ashley conducted extensive research on scientific studies and local laws to bring drivers a comprehensive resource on drink and drive limits from around the world.