Drinking and driving is something most people know is illegal, but few think they will get caught or ultimately convicted for this type of behavior. The truth is the state of Louisiana takes drinking and driving very seriously, and those convicted typically lose their driving privileges -- at least temporarily. For those whose livelihoods depend on their ability to drive, this is a big problem. With the assistance of a criminal defense attorney, one may be able to obtain a specific type of license that would allow him or her to operate a vehicle when absolutely necessary.
A hardship license is a restricted license that is either issued by the court or the Office of Motor Vehicles. It allows limited driving privileges to those whose licenses are currently suspended. The only reason a person with a hardship license should be behind the wheel of a car is to perform life-sustaining tasks, such as going to work or going to the grocery store -- among various other activities. Anyone found in violations of the terms of this license may face still penalties.
Most people who can successfully obtain hardship licenses are required to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles. This is something they have to pay for on their own. Proof of installation must be provided to the OMV or the court. The purpose of this device is to test one's blood alcohol content before starting the car. If alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start.
When charged with a drunk driving offense in Louisiana, a criminal defense attorney will work diligently to help one achieve a case dismissal or at least a reduction in charges or alternative sentencing. If one's driving privileges are suspended, which is an administrative matter, not criminal, legal counsel can also help one seek license reinstatement or a hardship license. Alcohol-related offenses are not always the easiest to fight, but with the right help, one may achieve the best possible outcome.