Alcohol and Drugs

The legal drinking age in Louisiana is 21.
You can be arrested for violating the underage drinking laws if you:
  • Obtain or try to obtain alcoholic beverages;
  • Possess or consume alcoholic beverages in public;
  • Falsely represent your age to obtain alcoholic beverages (including using a fake ID).
Yes, if you are accompanied by a parent, guardian, or spouse of legal drinking age; or if you are at least 18 years old and you work or provide entertainment at the business. There are also plenty of places that are licensed to sell alcohol and are still open to underage persons, such as restaurants, bowling alleys, public buildings, athletic events, and concerts.
You may be fined and/or sent to jail. If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, your driver’s license may be suspended and you can face large fines and jail sentences. 
Generally, the purchase, sale, possession, manufacturing and use of marijuana are illegal in Louisiana. If you violate these laws, you can face large fines, jail sentences, or both. Recently, Louisiana has legalized medicinal marijuana for approved patients with certain severe medical conditions. However, these patients must get the prescription from a licensed medical provider. Selling you prescribed medicinal marijuana will still result in severe charges.
  • Synthetic marijuana is illegal in Louisiana and is an extremely dangerous alternative to its natural counterpart.
  • The purchase, sale, possession, manufacturing and use of synthetic marijuana can carry the same penalties as natural marijuana.
The purchase, sale, possession, manufacturing and use of commonly known, highly addictive drugs (including heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine) carry significant penalties including imprisonment.
Drug paraphernalia is any equipment, products, or materials used to make, distribute, or ingest drugs. It is illegal for you to own, sell, lease, lend, rent, give, exchange, trade, or otherwise distribute drug paraphernalia. If you are arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia you can be fined or sentenced to jail.
Once you turn 18, you are subject to stricter penalties if you sell or distribute drugs to a minor, including longer jail or prison sentences and increased fines. This is especially true if you possess or sell drugs to a student or in a “drug free zone,” or if you ask or convince a minor to sell drugs. ‘Drug free zones’ can include schools, religious property, public housing authority, child care centers, and drug treatment facilities.
If you suffer from a substance abuse disorder you should seek help immediately. To find a treatment center near you visit to find the head directory office near your service area. The Office of Behavioral Health gives priority admission to the following:
  • pregnant women who inject drugs;
  • other pregnant women who abuse substances;
  • and others who inject drugs.
  • For these groups, OBH aims to provide addiction services with no or a minimal waiting period. If care is not available to this priority population within 48 hours, the Office will provide interim treatment services as appropriate.
  • You may also want to join AA (alcoholics anonymous) or NA (narcotic anonymous) local meeting. These meetings can be open or closed to the pubic with the meetings being held in person or online. The meeting consists of fellow substance abusers or family members of abusers who follow a step program to maintain sobriety.
  • You can also call the SAMHSA national hotline at 1-800-662-4357 to talk to someone asap. Remember the SAMHSA national hotline is free and confidential.

  • Louisiana State Bar Association
    601 St. Charles Avenue
    New Orleans, LA 70130
    (800) 421-LSBA(5722) / (504) 566-1600