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Louisiana legislators passing stricter drunk-driving laws

Every state in the nation has problems with drunk driving. Except for being illegal in all states, however, the consequences associated with driving under the influence vary widely between jurisdictions.

Last month, an editorial in the Shreveport Times alleged that “the consequences for drunken driving in Louisiana have often amounted to a slap on the wrist.” Anyone who has been convicted of a DUI/DWI in Louisiana could tell you that’s not true. Drunk driving charges are treated seriously, and individuals facing charges have a lot to lose if convicted.

The editorial went on to applaud stricter DUI/DWI laws and sentencing guidelines that were passed by legislators and signed into law by Gov. Bobby Jindal. Some of these laws have already gone into effect, and some will not go into effect until January 2015.

If you’d like to know more about the specifics of the laws, please feel free to follow the link to the original article (at the bottom). In a nutshell, the laws create harsher sentences for repeat offenders and impose mandatory minimum jail sentences following a fourth-offense DUI/DWI.

Mandatory minimums have proven to be disastrous when applied to other offenses, particularly drug crimes. Moreover, people should be suspicious of laws that take away the discretionary power given to judges to dole out appropriate sentences to individual offenders.

Based on precedent, there is reason to believe that these stricter DUI/DWI laws will not effectively reduce rates of drunk driving. The problems that lead to drunk driving and similar crimes usually cannot be solved with the threat of greater punishment.

Sadly, these laws have already been passed. But the important thing to keep in mind is that punishments apply only to convicted offenders. For this and many other reasons, anyone facing DUI/DWI charges needs the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Source: The Shreveport Times, “Editorial: About time La. got tough on DWI offenders,” Aug. 5, 2014

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Meet Attorney Guillory

Attorney Joshua S. Guillory was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. Upon graduating high school from Alexandria Senior High, he enrolled in classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Josh was a member of Mu Kappa Tau, a national honor society for marketing majors, while attending... Read More

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