Has your driver's license been suspended after being arrested for a DWI crime in Shreveport, Bossier City, or a surrounding area? It is advisable for you to retain legal counsel for assistance, not only fighting your underlying criminal charges, but also fighting to restore your driving privileges.

Louisiana Revised Statute § 14:98 is the state law establishing the crime of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. This offense is commonly referred to as driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI).

One of the most significant consequences of a drunk driving arrest is a driver's license being suspended. Some people can obtain restricted driver's licenses, commonly referred to as hardship licenses. To protect your driving privileges and to minimize the impact an arrest for DWI can have on your life, be sure to turn to an experienced criminal defense lawyer for help.

Attorney Ebonee Norris knows that mistakes happen. She also knows how severe the consequences can be for those who are arrested and charged with DWI. The team at The Norris Law Group represents those who have been charged with DWI in Caddo Parish, Bossier Parish, Webster Parish, DeSoto Parish, and surrounding areas. We have a strong track record of successfully getting these charges dropped, or the penalties reduced for our clients, and we're ready to get to work on your case.

Call (318) 287-8640 or contact us online to take advantage of a confidential consultation.
Authorities often feel an obligation to protect alleged victims, and this frequently results in alleged offenders being arrested-even when there is no real evidence of a crime having been committed. Prosecutors may feel more inclined to seek maximum punishments for people accused of domestic violence offenses, so alleged offenders will not be able to contact alleged victims.

If you were recently arrested for any domestic violence related crime in the greater Shreveport-Bossier area, or North Louisiana, we recommend that you not attempt to explain your defense to police, without consulting with a licensed attorney. Even if you have information supporting your innocence, you could still unknowingly disclose information that may lead to police placing you under arrest.

Ebonee Rhodes Norris of the Norris Law Group can work to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (318) 771-7000 or contact us online to receive a confidential consultation.

Hardship License Requirements

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety states that a hardship license is defined as a "restricted license issued administratively in accordance with statutes or by order of the court to an applicant whose driving privileges are under suspension." A hardship license allows a person to drive during the period of suspension to earn a livelihood or to maintain the necessities of life, and the installation of an ignition interlock device (sometimes referred to as an IID) can be required in many cases.

An ignition interlock device is an in-vehicle breath alcohol screening device connected to the engine ignition system. It can prevent a vehicle from starting when a driver's blood alcohol level is at or above a preset limit.

The ignition interlock device is required when an alleged offender was arrested for one of the following violations:

  • DWI
  • DWI chemical test refusal
  • Vehicular Negligent Injury
  • Driving Under Suspension (when the person was under suspension for an alcohol offense on the date of violation)

An ignition interlock is not required for a hardship license when a person is accused of the following violations:

  • First School Bus Violation
  • First Unlawful Use
  • Child Support Enforcement (if recommended by the Department of Children & Family Services)
  • Driving Under Suspension (non-alcohol related)
  • Nonpayment of Income Taxes

When a person is arrested for their first DWI in Louisiana, their driver's license will be suspended for one year. A second or subsequent DWI is a first DWI involving a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.20 or higher leads to a two-year suspension. Refusal to submit to chemical testing results in a suspension of 180 days for a first refusal and 545 days for a second or subsequent refusal.

A person who wants a hardship license must petition the district court in the parish in which they reside. The license will only be issued if the court orders the Department of Public Safety to issue the license.

In order to be issued a hardship license, a prison will likely have to present all of the following:

  • SR-22 Filing (certificate of liability insurance known as a "high risk" policy)
  • Ignition interlock device lease and installation agreement
  • Recommendation letter from Support Services
  • Court order or judgment
  • Appropriate fees

When a person drives their employer's vehicle in the scope of their employment, the court may allow them to operate that vehicle without the interlock device if they provide documentation from the court and the employer provides a written statement that they are aware that the employee is otherwise restricted to driving their personal vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device. When a person owns the company that they are driving the company vehicle for, then the ignition interlock device must be installed.

Hardship licenses can only be issued to a Class D or E license holders. They are not issued for commercial licenses (Class A, B or C). When a person is licensed and suspended in another state before becoming a Louisiana resident, they are not eligible for a hardship license.

The hardship license is typically limited to vehicles that a person owns or regularly uses. It is a violation of hardship restrictions for a person granted a license to operate a motor vehicle not approved by the court.

Violations of Hardship Restrictions

The court issuing a hardship license sets the conditions that a person is expected to abide by when granted a hardship license. A hardship restriction violation is a violation of one of the restrictions imposed on a driver.

Some of the most common restrictions typically relate to the times of day that a person is allowed to operate a motor vehicle. In other cases, people may be ordered to attend alcohol education classes, and a violation involves failure to complete those classes.

Frequent violations of hardship restrictions include, but are not limited to:

  • Car accidents
  • Early removal of the ignition interlock device
  • Improper passing conviction
  • DWI
  • Speeding

When a restriction has been violated, a suspension will be imposed, and the type of suspension will depend on the reason for the hardship license. When a driver's hardship license was issued for a refusal to submit to chemical testing violation, they will be required to serve a mandatory six-month suspension without any license.

If a driver was issued a hardship license for a DWI, they would have a one-year suspension added to their record. This suspension is in addition to any other suspensions they may be serving.

When you have been accused of violating your hardship restrictions, you will likely want to challenge the alleged violation. You will still maintain a presumption of innocence, so you could avoid penalties for an alleged violation by fighting to have speeding tickets thrown out.

Contact Ebonee Norris For Help

If your driver's license was or is going to be suspended because of a DWI arrest in Shreveport, Bossier City, or surrounding areas, you will want to act quickly to find legal representation. An experienced lawyer will know the best way to help you get back on the road as soon as possible.

The Norris Law Group will fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. You can have us explore all of your legal options as soon as you call (318) 771-7000, or contact us online to set up a confidential consultation.


Schedule a free consultation today!