One of the biggest inconveniences that comes with charges of DWI is a suspension of your driving privileges. A first offense in the Bayou State alone results in a one-year license suspension, and it increases with subsequent convictions. You might not have access to a vehicle for a while, so how are you supposed to go to necessary places like work or school?
Thankfully, the state does allow you to apply for a hardship license. This license will only allow you to drive to necessary locations such as your college, workplace, grocery store or a substance abuse program ordered by the court. Before you think about getting one, you need to know more about the application process and what can happen if you violate the conditions.
You may require an ignition interlock device
While you will have to pay a fee to acquire a hardship license, you will likely also have an additional fee to obtain an ignition interlock device. This is dependent on your court conviction. It is mandatory to sign an Ignition Interlock Lease and Installation Agreement if you have charges for DWI, refusing or submitting to the breath and chemical tests, or caused any injuries in the process. If it is anything else such as a school bus violation or refusal to pay income taxes, then you do not need one.
You cannot drive every car
Louisiana only issues hardship licenses to Class D and E holders. This means that you cannot operate any commercial motor vehicles during your suspension period. If you do drive a vehicle at work, you need a written statement from your employer to continue operating it and provide it to the court. You also do not have to install an ignition interlock device in the company car unless you own the company and drive the vehicle.
You will receive further punishment for violations
Getting to be able to drive again despite your conviction can be a blessing. However, if you are convicted of further charges during your initial suspension period, you could risk losing your hardship license and have further suspension time added. You may be able to pay for a $60 reinstatement fee, but it will be difficult to get back depending on your violation. Some violations for a hardship license include:
- A motor vehicle accident
- Taking the ignition interlock device out too early
- A conviction for improper passing
- A speeding violation
- A DWI conviction
- A vehicular injury
With how punishing DWI charges can be in Louisiana, those who face charges should know their rights so they can be aware of what they can do after a conviction. A DWI lawyer can help a defendant understand their freedoms and limitations that come with the conviction.