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Blood alcohol testing and the rules that go along with it

In Louisiana, it is a crime to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. If a person's blood alcohol content, or BAC, is .08 or higher, he or she may be detained as driving while intoxicated, or DWI. If the driver of the vehicle cannot safely operate the car or truck that he or she is driving because of impairment due to drinking before driving, this person will be arrested if caught.

If a driver is stopped and seems impaired, the police officer can administer a field sobriety test. This test usually involves several different tasks that the seemingly impaired person must try his or her best to do correctly. They may ask the driver to follow their finger with just the driver's eyes, walk a straight line or count backwards from 100. These tests, if failed, can lead the officer to administer a BAC test to determine what level of drunkenness the driver is at. If the driver refuses a Breathalyzer test on sight, the person will be arrested for suspicion of impaired driving and a blood test will be administered at the hospital.

There is something called an "implied consent" law in Louisiana that allows the officer at the scene to administer a BAC test. The logic behind this law is that, by assuming the privilege of driving on the roadways of this state, a driver tacitly agrees to take a BAC test if needed. Of course, there needs to be a reasonable cause for this test. In other words, the police can't just stop anyone for any reason and administer this test. There must be a reasonable assumption that a crime has been committed.

Have you been injured by a drunk driver? Sometimes, it can be hard to know what to do. You are injured and are trying to get back on your feet financially because you can't go to work yet and the medical bills are outrageous. Empower yourself by learning your legal rights in Louisiana.

Source: FindLaw, "DUI Offense Basics," accessed Dec. 29, 2015

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