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DWI bill passes committee heading to Louisiana Senate floor

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, residents get ready to spend 48 hours in jail if you are convicted of a DWI in the state. A new bill introduced by Louisiana Senator Jonathan Perry was advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is heading to the Senate floor. The bill guarantees a 48-hour jail sentence if you are convicted of drinking and driving, even for first time offenders.

Senator Perry believes it will reduce the number of people who die on Louisiana highways because of drunk driving. And some motorists in the New Orleans area agreed with the Senator. One motorist said it would make people think twice about getting behind the wheel because you could take someone's life. Another motorist said if you can't spend two nights in jail just don't drink and drive.

Others said it might be an effective deterrent for some people but it would put people in prison needlessly. He doesn't agree with drunk driving, but says for first time offenders they should get a break before putting them in prison. Yet another motorist said the law would create bigger problems since our prisons are already overcrowded.

The bill, which passed the Senate's Judiciary Committee without objection, states the mandatory 48-hour jail sentence could not be suspended by a judge. With more and more lawmakers legislating for stiffer DWI penalties it is more important than ever for someone charged with a DWI to consult with a criminal defense attorney to ensure his or her rights are protected at every step in the process.

In some cases an experienced DWI attorney can either get the charges reduced or dropped entirely based on improper police procedure or lack of evidence in the case.

Source: WWL.com, "DWI minimum jail sentence bill to Senate floor," Chris Miller, May 1, 2012

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