Countless Louisiana driving laws apply to drivers of all ages while some special requirements are imposed on teen drivers. Knowing these rules and regulations can help keep our streets safe.
Louisiana Headlight Laws
Motor vehicle drivers are required to have at least two lighted lamps at the front of the vehicle, precisely one on each side. If a vehicle has auxiliary lamps with a brightness exceeding 300 candlepower, it is illegal for the driver to light more than four of such lamps when on the highway. The drivers are also prohibited from using lamps or illuminating devices displaying a visible red or green light from the front.
The lights must be turned on when there is low visibility experienced between sunset and sunrise but during poor weather conditions.
It is unlawful to drive a vehicle with flashing lights on, although there are a few exceptions. Flashing lights may be allowed if you are operating an authorized emergency vehicle or school bus. Other exemptions touch on circumstances where a driver is signaling traffic hazards, or indicating a right or left turn.
For motorcycles or motor-driven cycles, drivers must ensure their bikes have at least one headlight and a maximum of two.
Louisiana Driver Licensing Laws
In Louisiana, minors turning 15 can apply for a Class E Learner’s Permit after completing the approved driver education course. With this permit, a teen can only drive under the supervision of a licensed driver for at least 50 hours, including 15 night hours. The licensed driver can be a parent, guardian, or any other adult at least 21 years old. A sibling, 18 or older, can also take the supervision role.
To be issued with a Class E Learner’s Permit, the applicant must:
- Sufficiently complete the driver education course consisting of 38 hours. The 30 hours will be devoted to classroom training, whereas 8 hours will be for on-the-road training.
- Pass visual and written examinations administered by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety through the Motor Vehicles’ Office.
Upgrading to Class E Intermediate License
Teens can convert their learner’s permit once they turn 16. However, the learner’s permit must have been held for at least 180 days to qualify for an intermediate license.
Other requirements include:
- Parents or legal guardians must sign the application form
- Teens must provide a statement signed by the parent or guardian confirming they have met the 50-hour practice threshold
- Pass road skills driving test
- Provide proof of vehicle insurance used for a road skills test
Intermediate License Driving Limitations
While teens can drive alone once they have obtained the intermediate license, there are rules they have to follow until they get a full license. For instance, teens are not allowed to drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Also, they cannot carry two or more non-family member passengers from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.
An exception applies to teens driving while accompanied by a parent, guardian, a sibling at least 18 years old, or any other 21 or an older adult. The driver accompanying a teen must carry a valid driving license.
Louisiana Drinking and Driving Laws
A driver is considered drunk if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) surpasses the set legal limit. If you are under 21, the BAC limit is .02. When you turn 21, the BAC limit will be .08. As for the commercial drivers who are at least 21 years old, their blood alcohol level should never exceed .04.
Unrestricted Driver’s License
Once a teen turns 17, they can apply for an unrestricted license after holding the intermediate license for 12 months.