Louisiana Alcohol Laws
Where to Buy Alcohol
Private retail stores sell spirits, while grocery and convenience stores sell beer and wine. There are no set service hours or days for selling alcohol.
Legal Age for Drinking/Serving Alcohol
The legal drinking age in Louisiana is 21. You must be 18 years old to work as a server in a restaurant that sells alcohol or as a bartender. Age is not a factor in working for any business for which selling alcohol is not their primary purpose as long as that business holds an off-premises license, meaning alcohol cannot be consumed on the property.
Open Container Laws
Previously opened bottles of alcohol must be carried in the trunk of a car.
The maximum legal limit for blood-alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent, and a tested level over this amount constitutes ‘per se intoxication,’ meaning it is sufficient evidence to charge a driver with DUI (driving under the influence).
Discouraging underage drivers from drinking is the focus of ‘zero tolerance laws.’ Any driver under the age of 21 years who is tested for a .02 percent or higher BAC is subject to DUI penalties.
If a driver tests at .15 percent over the .08 percent maximum legal BAC limit or refuses to comply with a police officer’s chemical testing request, that driver is subject to harsher penalties.
Laws that require a driver to comply with breath, blood, or urine testing for intoxication levels are ‘implied consent laws.’ Refusal to cooperate with a police officer who requests to see proof of insurance, a driver’s license, or requests that a driver submit to chemical testing carries a penalty of suspended driving privileges for up to one year.
Removal of a driver’s license by the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) is a punishment available to the courts for 90 days for the first offense, one year for the second offense, and two years for the third offense.
The penal system in Louisiana will consider confiscating a driver’s vehicle after the third DUI conviction.
Attachment of an ignition interlock device is a penalty possibility after the third DUI conviction.
Alcohol education, treatment, or assessment for alcohol abuse is a possible punishment.
DUI is considered a felony after the third conviction.