Several new traffic laws went into effect as of August 1. Among those laws, were stiffer penalties for DWI convictions, new laws on driving in flooded areas, and the use of off-road vehicles on public roads.
Act 198 levies an additional $50 fine for the use of a breathalyzer if the traffic stop results in a DWI conviction. The increase raises the fine to $125.
Impaired driving consultant, with the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Mike Barron, says that money is being reinvested into traffic safety.
“That money is used by the Louisiana State Applied Technology people to buy new technology and supporting instruments used to enforce the DWI laws.
Barron says as the result of the criminal justice reform, the length of time a judge can sentence a repeat DWI offender to probation was shortened accidentally. As a result the law needed to be amended to allow judges to extend the time an offender’s treatment takes place, which is what Act 508 does.
“Treatment is usually offered, but that could take many years to be effective. So this law now allows judges in a specialized DWI or Sobriety Court to extend probation for as long as eight years.”
We're approaching the two-year anniversary of the great flood of 2016 which swamped neighborhoods from Acadiana to the Baton Rouge area. A new law stemming from that incident went into effect this month.Barron says you can now have your driver's license suspended for two years for careless operation of a motor vehicle during flood conditions
“This is probably against the people who have the jacked up trucks, where if they drive so rapidly where they create wakes that go into people property and cause damage that they could be charged with a different crime.”
The law also carries a penalty of up to 250 hours of community service.