Louisiana Law Regarding the Unlawful Sale, Purchase and Possession of Alcoholic Beverages

R.S. 14:93.10 Definitions

For the purposes of R.S. 14:93.10 through 93.14, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Purchase” means acquisition by the payment of money or other consideration. Purchase does not include such acquisition for medical purposes either when purchased as over the counter medication or when prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, pharmacist, dentist, nurse, hospital, or medical institution.

(2) “Public possession” means the possession of any alcoholic beverage for any reason, including consumption, on any street or highway or in any public place or any place open to the public, including a club which is de facto open to the public. “Public possession” does not include the following:

(a) The possession or consumption of any alcoholic beverage:

(i) For an established religious purpose.

(ii) When a person under twenty-one years of age is accompanied by a parent, spouse, or legal guardian twenty-one years of age or older.

(iii) For medical purposes when purchased as an over the counter medication, or when prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, pharmacist, dentist, nurse, hospital or medical institution.

(iv) In private residences.

(b) The sale, handling, transport, or service in dispensing of any alcoholic beverage pursuant to lawful ownership of an establishment or to lawful employment of a person under twenty-one years of age by a duly licensed manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of beverage alcohol.

(3) “Alcoholic beverage” means beer, distilled spirits, and wine containing one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume. Beer includes but is not limited to ale, lager, porter, stout, sake, and other similar fermented beverages brewed or produced from malt wholly or in part or from any substitute therefor. Distilled spirits include alcohol, ethanol, or spirits or wine in any form, including all dilutions and mixtures thereof from whatever process produced.

R.S. 14:93.11 Unlawful sales to persons under twenty-one

A. Unlawful sales to persons under twenty-one is the selling or otherwise delivering for value of any alcoholic beverage to any person under twenty-one years of age unless such person is the lawful owner or lawful employee of an establishment to which the sale is being made and is accepting delivery pursuant to such ownership or employment. Lack of knowledge of the person’s age shall not be a defense.

B. Whoever violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
R.S. 14:93.12 Purchase and public possession of alcoholic beverages; exceptions; penalties

A. It is unlawful for any person under twenty-one years of age to purchase or have public possession of any alcoholic beverage.

B. (1) Whoever violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than one hundred
dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

(2) Any person apprehended while violating the provisions of this Section shall be issued a
citation by the apprehending law enforcement officer, which shall be paid in the same manner as provided for the offenders of local traffic violations.
R.S. 14:93.13 Unlawful purchase of alcoholic beverages by persons on behalf of persons under twenty-one.

A. It is unlawful for any person, other than a parent, spouse, or legal guardian, as specified in RS 14:93.10(2) (a) (ii), to purchase on behalf of a person under twenty-one years of age any alcoholic beverage.

B. Whoever violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both.

R.S. 14:93.14 Responsibilities of retail dealer not relieved

Nothing in RS 14:93.10 through 93.13 shall be construed as relieving any licensed retail dealer in alcoholic beverages any responsibilities imposed under the provisions of Title 26 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

Louisiana Law regarding driving while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs

R.S. 14:98 Operating a vehicle while intoxicated

A. (1) The crime of operating a vehicle while intoxicated is the operating of any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, vessel, or other means of conveyance when:

(a) The operator is under the influence of alcoholic beverages; or

(b) The operator’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood; or

(c) The operator is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV, V as set forth in R.S. 40:964

(d) The operator is under the influence of a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs which are not controlled dangerous substances and which are legally obtainable with or without a prescription and the label on the container of the prescription drug or the manufacturer’s package of the drug contains a warning against combining the medication with alcohol.

(e) The operator is under the influence of one or more drugs which are not controlled dangerous substances and which are legally obtainable with or without a prescription and the influence is caused by the operator knowingly consuming
quantities of the drug or drugs which substantially exceed the dosage prescribed by the physician or the dosage recommended by the manufacturer of the drug.

(2) A valid driver’s license shall not be an element of the offense, and the lack thereof shall not be a defense to a prosecution for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

B. (1) On a first conviction, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the offender shall be fined not less than three hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, and shall be imprisoned for not less than ten days nor more than six months. Imposition or execution of sentence shall not be suspended unless:

(a) the offender is placed on probation with a minimum condition that he serve two days in jail and participate in a court-approved substance abuse program and participate in a court-approved driver improvement program; or

(b) The offender is placed on probation with a minimum condition that he perform four eight-hour days of court-approved community service activities, at least half of which shall consist of participation in a litter abatement or collection program, participate in a court-approved substance abuse program, and participate in a court-approved driver improvement program. An offender, who participates in a litter abatement or collection program pursuant to this Subparagraph, shall have no cause of action for damages against the entity conducting the program or supervising his participation therein, including a municipality, parish, sheriff, or other entity, nor against any official, employee, or agent of such entity, for any injury or loss suffered by him during or arising out of his participation in the program, if such injury or loss is a direct result of the lack of supervision or act or omission of the supervisor, unless the injury or loss was caused by the intentional or grossly negligent act or omission of the entity or its official, employee, or agent.

(2) If the offender had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent or more by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood, at least forty-eight hours of the sentence imposed pursuant to Paragraph (B) (1) of this Section shall be served without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. Imposition or execution of the remainder of the sentence shall not be suspended unless the offender complies with Paragraph (B) (1) (a) or (b) of this Section.

C. (1) On a conviction of a second offense, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, except as provided in Paragraph (3) of this subsection, regardless of whether the second offense occurred before or after the first conviction, the offender shall be fined not less than seven hundred fifty dollars, nor more than one thousand dollars, and shall be imprisoned for not less than thirty days nor more than six months. At least forty-eight hours of the sentence imposed shall be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. Nothing herein shall prohibit a court from sentencing a defendant to home incarceration, if otherwise allowed under the provisions of Article 894.2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Imposition or execution of the remainder of the sentence shall not be suspended unless:

(a) The offender is placed on probation with a minimum condition that he serve fifteen days in jail and participate in a court-approved substance abuse program and participate in a court-approved driver improvement program; or

(b) The offender is placed on probation with a minimum condition that he perform thirty eight-hour days of court-approved community service activities, at least half of which shall consist of participation in a litter abatement or collection program, and participate in a court-approved substance abuse program, and participate in a court-approved driver improvement program. . .

(2) If the offender had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent or more by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood, at least ninety-six hours of the sentence imposed pursuant to Paragraph (C) (1) of this Section shall be served without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. Imposition or execution of the remainder of the sentence shall not be suspended unless the offender complies with Paragraph (C) (1) (a) or (b) of this section.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (1) of the Subsection, on a conviction of a second offense when the first offense was for the crime of vehicular homicide in violation of R.S. 14:32.1, or first degree vehicular negligent injuring in violation of R.S. 14:39.2, the offender shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than one year nor more than five years, and shall be fined two thousand dollars. At least six months of the sentence of imprisonment imposed shall be without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. Imposition or execution of the remainder of the sentence shall not be suspended unless the provisions of Subparagraph (C)(1)(a) or (b) are complied with.

D. (1) On a conviction of a third offense, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and regardless of whether the offense occurred before or after an earlier conviction, the offender shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than one year nor more than five years, and shall be fined two thousand dollars. Thirty days of the sentence of imprisonment shall be imposed without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. The remainder of the sentence of imprisonment shall be suspended and the offender shall be required to undergo an evaluation to determine the nature and extent of the offender’s substance abuse disorder. The treatment professional performing the evaluation shall recommend appropriate treatment modalities which shall include substance abuse treatment at an inpatient facility recommended by the Department of Health and Hospitals, office (sic) for addictive disorders and approved by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections for a period of not less than four weeks nor more than six weeks. The offender may be sentenced to additional outpatient substance abuse treatment services to meet the offender’s needs if determined to be necessary by the offender’s treating physician, for a period not to exceed twelve months. The follow up treatment shall be provided in a manner to gradually decrease the intensity of treatment services. Upon successful completion of the inpatient substance abuse treatment required by this paragraph, the offender shall be sentenced to home incarceration for not less than the period of time remaining on the offender’s suspended sentence, as provided in Paragraph (3) of this Subsection. If the offender fails to complete the substance abuse treatment required by the provision of this Paragraph or violates any condition of home incarceration, he shall be imprisoned for the original term of his suspended sentence with no credit for time served under home incarceration.

(2) (a) In addition, the court shall order that the vehicle being driven by the offender at the time of the offense shall be seized and impounded, and sold at auction in the same manner and under the same conditions as executions of writ of seizures and sale as
provided in Book V, Title II, Chapter 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(b) The vehicle shall be exempt from sale if it was stolen, or if the driver of the vehicle at the time of the violation was not the owner and the owner did not know that the driver was operating the vehicle while intoxicated. If this exemption is applicable, the vehicle shall not be released from impoundment until such time as towing and storage fees have been paid.

(c) In addition, the vehicle shall be exempt from sale if all towing and storage fees are paid by a valid lienholder.

(d) The proceeds of the sale shall first be used to pay court costs and towing and storage costs, and the remainder shall be forwarded to the Council on Automobile Insurance Rates and Enforcement for its use in studying other ways to reduce drunk driving and insurance rates.

(3) (a) An offender sentenced to home incarceration shall be supervised and shall be subject to any of the conditions of probation. The court shall specify the conditions of home incarceration which shall include but shall not be limited to the following:

(i) Electronic monitoring.

(ii) Curfew restrictions.

(iii) Home visitation at least once per month by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

(b) The court shall also require the offender to obtain employment and to participate in a court approved driver improvement program at his expense. The activities of the offender outside of his home shall be limited to traveling to and from work, church services, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, or a court approved driver improvement program.

(c) Offenders sentenced to home incarceration required under the provisions of this Section shall be subject to all other applicable provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure Article 894.2.

E. (1) Except as otherwise provided in Subparagraph (4) (b) of this Subsection, on a conviction of fourth or subsequent offense, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and regardless of whether the fourth offense occurred before or after an earlier conviction, the offender shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than ten years nor more than thirty years, and shall be fined five thousand dollars. Sixty days of the sentence of imprisonment shall be imposed without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. The remainder of the sentence of imprisonment shall be suspended and the offender shall be required to undergo an evaluation to determine the nature and extent of the offender’s substance abuse disorder. The treatment professional performing the evaluation shall recommend appropriate treatment modalities which shall include substance abuse treatment at an inpatient facility recommended by the Department of Health and Hospitals, officer (sic) addictive disorders and approved by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections for a period of not less than four weeks nor more than six weeks. The offender may be sentenced to additional substance abuse treatment services to meet the offender’s needs if determined to be necessary by the offender’s treating physician, for a period not to exceed twelve months. The follow up treatment shall be provided in a manner to gradually decrease the intensity of treatment services. Upon successful completion of the inpatient substance abuse treatment required by this paragraph, the offender shall be sentenced to home incarceration for not less than one nor more than five years, in accordance with Paragraph (3) of this Subsection, and shall be fined five thousand dollars. If the offender fails to complete the substance abuse treatment required by the provisions of this Paragraph or violates any condition of home incarceration, he shall be imprisoned for the original term of his suspended sentence with no credit for time served under home incarceration.

(2) (a) In addition, the court shall order that the vehicle being driven by the offender at the time of the offense be seized and impounded, and be sold at auction in the same manner and under the same conditions as executions of writ of seizure and sale as provided in Book V, Title II, Chapter 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure…

(3) (a) An offender sentenced to home incarceration shall be supervised and shall be subject to any of the conditions of probation. The court shall specify the conditions of home incarceration which shall include but shall not be limited to the following:

(i) Electronic monitoring.

(ii) Curfew Restrictions.

(iii) Home visitation at least once per month by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

(b) The court shall also require the offender to obtain employment and to participate in a court-approved driver improvement program at his expense. The activities of the offender outside of his home shall be limited to traveling to and from work, church services, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, or a court approved driver improvement program.

(c) Offenders sentenced to home incarceration required under the provisions of this Section shall be subject to all other applicable provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure Article 894.2.

(4) (a) If the offender has previously been required to participate in substance abuse treatment and home incarceration, pursuant to Subsection D of this Section, the offender shall not be sentenced to substance abuse treatment and home incarceration for a fourth or subsequent offense, but shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than ten nor more than thirty years, and at least three years of the sentence shall be imposed without benefit of suspension of sentence, probation or parole.

(b) If the offender has previously received the benefit of suspension of sentence, probation, or parole as a fourth offender, no part of the sentence may be imposed with benefit of suspension of sentence, probation or parole, and no portion of the sentence shall be imposed concurrently with the remaining balance of any sentence to be served for a prior conviction for any offense.

F. (1) For purposes of determining whether a defendant has a prior conviction for violation of this Section, a conviction under either R.S. 14:32.1, vehicular homicide, R.S. 14:39.1, vehicular negligent injuring, or R.S. 14:39.2, first degree vehicular negligent injuring, or a conviction under the laws of any state or an ordinance of a municipality, town, or similar political subdivision of another state, which prohibits the operation of any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, vessel, or other means of conveyance while intoxicated, while impaired or while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any controlled dangerous substance shall constitute a prior conviction. This determination shall be made by the court as a matter of law.

(2) For the purposes of this Section, a prior conviction shall not include a conviction for an offense under this Section or R.S. 14:32.1 or R.S. 14:39.1 or under comparable statute or ordinance of another jurisdiction, as described in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection, if committed more than ten years prior to the commission of the crime for which the defendant is being tried and such conviction shall not be considered in the assessment of penalties hereunder. However, periods of time during which the offender was incarcerated in a penal institution in this or any other state shall be excluded in computing the ten-year period. Subsections Band C shall include a screening procedure to determine the portions of the program which may be applicable and appropriate for individual offenders.

G. The legislature hereby finds and declares that conviction of a third or subsequent DWI offense is presumptive evidence of the existence of a substance abuse disorder in the offender posing a serious threat to the health and safety of the public. Further, the legislature finds that there are successful treatment methods available for treatment of addictive disorders. Court approved substance abuse programs provided for in Subsection B, C, and D of this section shall include a screening procedure to determine the portions of the program which may be applicable and appropriate for individual offenders and shall assess the offender’s degree of alcohol abuse.

H. “Community service activities” as used in this Section may include duty in any morgue, coroner’s office, or emergency treatment room of a state-operated hospital or other state operated hospital or other state-operated emergency treatment facility, with the consent of the administrator of the morgue, corner’s office, hospital or facility.

I. An offender ordered to participate in a substance abuse program required by the provisions of this section shall pay the cost incurred in participating in the program. Failure to make such payment shall subject the offender to revocation of probation, unless the court determines that the offender is unable to pay. If the court determines that the offender is unable to pay, the state shall pay for the cost of the Substance Abuse treatment required by this section. An offender sentenced to Home Incarceration and to participate in a Driver Improvement Program shall pay the cost incurred in participating in said programs, unless the court determines that the offender is unable to pay.

J. This Subsection shall be cited as the “Child Endangerment Law.” When the state proves in addition to the elements of the crime as set forth in Subsection A of this Section that a minor child twelve years of age or younger was a passenger in the motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, vessel, or other means of motorized conveyance at the time of the commission of the offense, of the sentence imposed by the court, the execution of the minimum mandatory sentence provided by Subsection B or C of this Section, as appropriate, shall not be suspended. If imprisonment is imposed pursuant to the provisions of Subsection E, at two years of the sentence shall be imposed without benefit of suspension of sentence.

K. (1) In addition to any penalties imposed under this Section, upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense, any vehicle, while being operated by the offender, shall be equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device in accordance with the provisions of R.S.15:306. This requirement shall remain in effect for a period of not less than six months. In addition, the device shall remain installed and operative during any period that the offender’s operator’s license is suspended under and for any additional period as determined by the court.

(2) (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection and R.S. 32:414

(D) (1) (b), upon conviction of a third or subsequent offense of the provisions of this section, any motor vehicle, while being operated by the offender, shall be equipped with functioning ignition interlock device in accordance with the provision of R.S. 15: 306. The ignition interlock device shall remain installed and operative until the offender has completed the requirements of substance abuse treatment and home incarceration under the provisions of Subsections D and E of this Section.

(b) Any offender convicted of a third or subsequent offense of the provisions of this Section shall, after one year of the suspension required by R.S. 32:414 (d) (1) (a), upon proof to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections that the motor vehicles being operated by the offender are equipped with functioning interlock devices, be issued a restricted driver’s license. The restricted license shall be effective for the period of time that the offender’s driver’s license is suspended. The restricted license shall entitle the offender to operate the vehicles equipped with a functioning interlock device in order to earn a livelihood and to travel and from the places designated in Paragraph (D) (3) and (E) (3) of this Section.

(3) The provisions of this subsection shall not require installation of an interlock device in any vehicle described in RS 32:378.2(I)

R.S. 14: 98.1 Underage driving under the influence

A. The crime of underage operating a vehicle while intoxicated is the operating of any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, vessel or other means of conveyance when the operator’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.02 percent or more by weight if the operator is under the age of twenty-one based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood.

B. Any underage person whose blood alcohol concentration is found to be in violation of R.S. 14:98(A) (1) (b) shall be charged under its provisions rather than under this Section.

C. On a first conviction, the offender shall be fined not less than one hundred nor more than two hundred fifty dollars, and participate in a court-approved substance abuse and driver improvement program.

D. On a second or subsequent conviction, regardless of whether the second offense occurred before or after the first conviction, the offender shall be fined not less than one hundred fifty dollars, nor more than five hundred dollars, and imprisoned for not less than ten days nor more than three months. Imposition or execution of sentence shall not be suspended unless:

(1) The offender is placed on probation with a minimum condition that he serve forty-eight hours in jail and participate in a court-approved substance abuse and driver improvement program; or

(2) The offender is placed on probation with a minimum condition that he perform ten eight-hour days of court-approved community service activities, at least half of which shall consist of participation in a litter abatement or collection program and participate in a court-approved substance and driver improvement program.

E. Court programs regarding substance abuse provided for in Subsections C and D shall include a screening procedure to determine the portions of the program which may be applicable and appropriate for individual offenders.

F. An offender ordered to participate in a substance abuse program shall pay the cost incurred in participating in the program. Failure to make such payment shall subject the offender to revocation of probation, unless the court determines that the offender is unable to pay.

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