Louisiana Restricted Licenses
Louisiana imposes substantial penalties for DUI. For example, there is a one year suspension for refusing a breath test in Louisiana. Fortunately, certain DUI defendants can be considered for hardship driver's licenses.
Under the hardship license law in Louisiana, a “hardship license” is defined as a restricted license issued either by the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles, which is a division of the Department of Public Safety, or pursuant to an order from a judge to a person who lost his or her right to drive. The restricted driver’s license is issued so that the holder can drive to earn a living or to perform necessary errands and attend medical appointments. A police officer who stops a driver on a restricted license in the State of Louisiana has discretion to determine whether the driver was going to or from work or a legitimately necessary errand or appointment.
A 2008 law requires DWI offenders who are granted restricted licenses to use ignition interlock devices for a period of one year. Also, Louisiana Senate Bill No. 488, which was sponsored by Senator Jonathan Perry, imposes a waiting period for those convicted of a 2nd offense driving while intoxicated in Louisiana. Under this new DWI law, which Governor Jindal signed and approved, drivers convicted of a second offense DUI with a blood alcohol concentration of .2 % or more, are now required to serve a 45 day mandatory waiting period prior to being considered for a restricted license.
Louisiana, like Massachusetts, will not issue a CDL hardship or restricted license. Any restricted license will be limited to vehicles which do not require a commercial driver’s license. This prohibition is in accordance with federal law, which prohibits the issuance of hardship CDLs.
In Act 612 of 2001, the Legislature in Louisiana imposed mandatory driver’s license suspensions for the non-payment of child support. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles also imposes these mandatory indefinite license suspensions. However, in Louisiana, unlike in Massachusetts, the law specifically provides for the ability to be considered for a work license. In Louisiana, restricted licenses are also issued for DUI revocations, and other related suspensions such as refusing to submit to a chemical breath test.