News > Press Releases
Jun 08, 2012
BATON ROUGE – Governor Bobby Jindal signed four new laws today to crack down on DWIs. Each bill was approved by the DWI-Vehicular Homicide Task Force and part of the Governor’s 2012 legislative package.
Governor Jindal said, “These new laws build on our past efforts to make Louisiana’s communities safer by enhancing penalties for multiple offenses and giving law enforcement officials more flexibility to remove drunk drivers from the road.”
HB 781 by Representative Steven Pylant gives law enforcement officers the ability to use multiple tests to assess a driver’s impairment. Breathalyzer tests cannot detect the presence of drugs in an offender’s system, and after a breathalyzer test is given, current law is not clear whether a refusal for a subsequent test qualifies for suspending an impaired individual’s driver’s license. This new law will clarify an officer’s authority to employ an additional test to assess the extent of drug impairment, and the refusal of a test or tests would give rise to suspension of the offender’s driver’s license.
SB 306 by Senator Bodi White extends the ten-year period that permits enhanced penalties for repeat DWI offenders. Prior to Governor Jindal signing this law, offenders on parole benefitted from their parole periods being included in the ten-year period, protecting them from tougher penalties down the road. This new law will exclude the time an offender serves on parole from the ten-year period, extending the time that prevents them from benefiting from lesser penalties for reoffending.
SB 485 by Senator Jonathan Perry makes a detectable amount of illicit drugs in a person’s blood system a contributing factor to vehicular homicide. Many impaired drivers on Louisiana’s roads drive under the influence of illegal drugs. This new law will assist prosecutors go after offenders who have committed vehicular homicide and have illegal or unprescribed drugs in their blood system.
SB 486 Senator Jonathan Perry addresses penalties for persons with three DWI offenses enrolled in DWI or drug courts and restricts reinstatement of driving privileges for multiple offenders arrested for a DWI.