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Louisiana Traffic Laws

Louisiana drivers must learn the many rules of the road in extreme detail to get their license. While driving has become second nature for many people, the laws of the road are still complex.

Becoming more familiar with the law is the first step to following it and avoiding a costly ticket in the process. Learn more about Louisiana's road regulations and the penalties for driving offenses.

Read Louisiana Motor Vehicle Statutes

Title 32 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes (LRS) focuses on the operation of a motor vehicle. Find links to some fundamental laws you should know in the chart below.

Drinking and Driving Violations Operating a vehicle under the influence (LRS 32:661)
Driving Without a License / With a Suspended License Driver must be licensed (LRS 32:52)
Driving Without Insurance / With Insufficient Insurance Security required (LRS 32:861)
Driving Without Registration / With Expired Registration Vehicle license required (LRS 32:51)
Illegal U-Turn Turning movements and required signals (LRS 32:104)
Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Hit & Run Accident reports (LRS 32:398)
Mechanical Violations and Unlawful Vehicle Modifications Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulation: Equipment (LRS 32:301 to 32:369)Low rider vehicles (LRS 32:297)Proper equipment required on vehicles (LRS 32:53)
Reckless Driving Careless operation (LRS 32:58)
Running a Red Light / Stop Sign Obedience to and required traffic control devices (LRS 32:231)Traffic control signals (LRS 32:232)
Seat Belt / Child Restraint Violations Safety belt use (LRS 32:295.1)Child passenger restraint system (LRS 32:295)
Speeding Maximum speed limit (LRS 32:61)General speed law (LRS 32:64)
Stopping for School Buses Overtaking and passing certain school buses (LRS 32:80)

Note: State laws are always changing through legislative, judicial, or other means. While FindLaw works hard to ensure the accuracy of its legal resources, it's a good idea to thoroughly research the law or check with an attorney to make sure you have the most recent information.

Louisiana's Traffic Law Enforcement

As in every state, police officers patrol public roads to catch and correct drivers who break the law. A Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections officer could pull you over to give you a ticket or arrest you. Knowing your rights and the potential penalties can help you avoid additional problems.

Most Louisiana traffic tickets lead to fines or jail time that can increase based on a few factors, such as:

  • Whether the violation caused personal injury to another motorist or pedestrian
  • Whether the violation caused significant property damage in a car accident
  • How many similar offenses were on your record before the incident
  • Where the violation happened, such as a road work or school zone
  • How fast you were driving above the speed limit

Text messaging behind the wheel can lead to a $175 fine the first time, but you could face $500 fines for repeat texting violations.

Driver's License Suspension and Revocation

The state can also suspend your license in some cases. If you get at least 10 traffic violations within three years, you might lose your driving privileges as a habitual offender. You can also lose your license following a serious driving offense.

For example, the traffic offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) often risks a driver's license revocation. Louisiana is one of many states that allow DWI checkpoints. These checkpoints often pop up in areas with dense traffic, like Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

You can lose your license for one year if you refuse a breath or chemical test at a DWI checkpoint. If you take a test showing your blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit, you can face license suspension for two years (LRS 32:667).

Fight a Traffic Ticket in Louisiana

Drivers often pay the fines to resolve simple tickets, but tickets don't disappear when you pay. Louisiana tickets linger on your driving record, so consider the long-term effects of a violation on your driver's license.

Contesting a ticket or criminal traffic case, whether it was a safety belt violation, an illegal left turn, or exceeding the maximum speed limit, can be difficult. Running a single stop sign can end up costing you a lot of money. You may want to consult a traffic law attorney with deep knowledge of Louisiana's laws. They can help you navigate the traffic court process.

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