Avoid a DUI During Festival International de Louisiane
Nothing fizzles out a good time faster than seeing flashing red and blue lights behind your vehicle. Avoiding a DUI during Festival International de Louisiane is possible if you plan before getting behind the wheel.
More than 300,000 people from around the world are expected to attend the annual festivities in downtown Lafayette, LA, slated for April 26-30. With every mouth-watering creole and Cajun dish you can think of, unlimited alcoholic beverages will be served. Do you have a designated driver to guarantee no encounters with the Louisiana state police?
Avoiding a DUI arrest is the best way to experience five days of music, exhibits, and Acadian cuisine. Read on to learn about Louisiana DUI laws and helpful tips to ensure you enjoy Festival International de Louisiane without repercussions.
What Happens If You Get a DUI in Louisiana?
At this year’s Festival International de Louisiane, having 2-3 alcoholic beverages with your po’ boy might seem harmless. However, a first-offense DUI can result in jail time in Louisiana. Besides possibly getting injured, injuring others, fatal crashes, and difficulty getting car insurance because of DUI, you may wonder what blood levels cause impairment to drive.
For non-commercial drivers, all 50 U.S. states recognize a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of greater than .08 as driving under the influence of alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the ability to implement lane changes, braking, steering, and successfully pay attention while driving is impaired at BAC .08.
Take a moment to consider the following consequences of Louisiana DUI laws before clinking glasses in celebration of Acadiana, Cajun, and French influence around the world:
The consequence of a first offense DUI is jail time of up to six months. A hefty fine ranging from $300 to $1,000 for a BAC under .20 and a license suspension for one year may apply. However, a BAC over .15 has a mandatory 48-hour jail stay. The assigned judge may impose a 48-hour jail sentence or 32 hours of community service.
A second offense has a penalty of up to six months of jail time. However, there is a mandatory 96-hour jail stay if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over .15. There is a minimum fine of $750 to $1,000. The assigned Judge may order up to two years probation, 240 community service, and a substance abuse treatment program.
A third offense of driving under the influence is considered a felony. Fines up to $2,000 are punishable with mandatory one-year imprisonment without suspension of sentence and probationary terms extending five years.
The assigned Judge can give you up to five years in prison with hard labor or home incarceration after one year of imprisonment. Court-mandated 240 hours of community service with a minimum of four weeks of inpatient substance abuse treatment and up to twelve months of outpatient treatment.
A fourth offense may prompt an invasive investigation to see if additional DUIs are on record. With similar convictions of a third offense, the fine increases to $5,000 and imprisonment of a mandatory minimum of 10 years. Court-mandated 320 hours of community service is required without exception.
DUI laws in Louisiana are strict. The first and second offenses are considered misdemeanors, and your BAC levels determine harsher DUI penalties. If you are a recurring offender, hardship licenses with ignition interlock devices and SR-22 insurance may be required.
Benefits of Drinking Responsibly at Festival International de Louisiane
Five days of live music, Acadian Louisiana cuisine, and your favorite Cajun dishes paired with wines and Sazerac are incredible to experience but should not involve driving at the same time. Mandatory jail time, fines, increased insurance premiums, and license suspensions are great motivators to drink responsibly while enjoying all the festivities.
Embrace the spirit of Festival International de Louisiane with a responsible attitude towards drinking and enjoy all its perks below:
- Taking part in arts and crafts events
- Enjoying the music and cuisine without interruption by a DUI
- The opportunity to immerse yourself in the Acadian and Cajun French culture
- A natural dopamine boost is guaranteed
Some may argue that being in an atmosphere with delightful music, interacting with smiling faces, and eating is the best natural high compared to alcohol. The Festival International de Louisiane is the perfect opportunity to determine if dopamine beats alcohol.
According to Medical News Today, face-to-face socialization releases dopamine, which improves mood and memory, decreases stress and brings natural joy to any social gathering. Therefore, with the natural dopamine chemical, a sober celebration can be an option if you’re the designated driver without worrying about drinking responsibly.
Tips for Avoiding DUI at Festival International de Louisiane
Whether you enjoy the Acadiana festivities in Lafayette, Louisiana, for one day or all five days, avoiding a DUI in Louisiana should be your top priority. Here are some tips to help you enjoy this dynamic experience with no mishaps:
- Plan to have a designated driver
- Plan a pickup and drop-off with Uber or Lyft
- Do not mix medication with alcohol
- Have a designated driver to and from the festival
- Plan an overnight stay with an arrangement for a designated driver
The best solution to avoid a DUI in Louisiana altogether is deciding not to drink and partake in non-alcoholic beverages with a side of Jambalaya. Indulge in all this South Louisiana festival offers by implementing one or more of the tips mentioned.
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Now that you understand the importance of avoiding a DUI during the Festival International de Louisiane, it’s time to implement your DUI-free plan. If you have a DUI on record, we want to help you get back on the road again with affordable car insurance.
Reclaim your independence; contact USAgencies today to learn more about what we can do for you. Get started with a quote online. You are welcome to visit one of our local offices today or call us at 800-420-3712 so we can help you each step of the way.