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Possible career repercussions after drunk driving arrests

As regular readers of our Lake Charles legal blog know, Louisiana’s drunk driving laws are among the harshest in the nation. Those convicted of DUI/DWI can face jail time, fines and lengthy driver’s license suspensions. There can be other results, though not imposed on you by the state, can be just as painful, including drastically higher vehicle insurance premiums and even loss of a job or career.

Two recent Louisiana drunk driving arrests could very well have significant negative impacts on the careers of those involved.

A few days ago, State Representative Donna 'Kathy' Edmonston was charged with driving while intoxicated in Baton Rouge. She was driving on a highway there and apparently failed to stop her vehicle in time and struck a vehicle at an intersection where the light had just turned green.

Police officers said Edmonston smelled of alcohol and had poor balance. She failed a field sobriety test and her BAC (blood alcohol content) was tested at 0.14 percent. The legal limit in Louisiana is .08 percent.

A day after her arrest, Edmonston issued an apology for “the mistake” she made and the “disappointment” it has caused. She is determined to forge ahead with her legislative agenda, however, while acknowledging that the arrest is a “wake-up call” to address choices she has made regarding social drinking.

In the other incident, a Baton Rouge police officer was charged with DUI/DWI after he reportedly drove drunk in his police cruiser and crashed the vehicle. According to a news report, he was combative with emergency personnel who tried to help him exit the vehicle.

He was off-duty at the time.

Both the representative and officer would do well to speak to an attorney experienced in drunk driving defense.

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