DUI in Mississippi

Penalties resulting from a DUI conviction in the state of Mississippi are considered to be some of the most severe in the United States. As is the scenario in other states, two cases typically result -- the court case and a Department of Motor Vehicles hearing. You are considered under the influence if your BAC is 0.08 per cent or higher. However, that level drops to 0.04 per cent if you drive a commercial vehicle and 0.02 per cent if you are under 21 years of age.

In the state of Mississippi, an officer can make an arrest for the following drunk driving offenses:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substance that impairs driving ability
  • Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater
  • If under 21, driving with a BAC of .02 or greater
  • If a commercial driver, driving with a BAC of .04 or greater

Mississippi DUI Penalties

Court Fines Potential Jail Time License Suspension
1st Conviction $250-1,000 Up to 2 days
Minimum of 90 days
2nd Conviction $600-1,500 5 days - 1 year 3 years
3rd Conviction $2,000-5,000 1 year - 5 years
5 years

Consequences and Driving Repercussions

If you are an adult (over age 21), the penalties are broken down as follows:

  • First offense – Your fine will range from $250 to $1,000 plus court costs, you will spend 48 hours in jail, and your license will be suspended for 1 year.
  • Second offense – You will be fined between $600 and $1,500 (plus court costs), spend anywhere from five days to one year in jail, you will have 10 days to one year of community service, and your license will be suspended for two years. In addition, your vehicle will be immobilized or impounded for the length of your driving suspension.
  • Third offense – You will be fined $2,000 to $5,000, spend one to five years in the Mississippi State Penitentiary, lose your license for five years, and your vehicle will be seized and sold (proceeds go to the state). In addition, this will be a felony conviction and you will lose your civil rights as well as your career.

If you are a minor (under age 21), your BAC is between 0.02 per cent and 0.08 per cent, and you refuse to take a breath test, the consequences are as follows:

  • First offense – There is a $250 fine and a 30-day suspension of your driving privileges (90 days if you refuse the breath test).
  • Second offense – The fine is $500 and your license is suspended for 1 year, but can be reduced to 6 months if you enroll in a certified Alcohol and Drug program.
  • Third offense – Your fine can be as much as $1,000 and your license is suspended for 2 years or until you turn 21, whichever is a longer period. In addition to this, you must enroll in a certified Alcohol and Drug program.

Death or disfigurement resulting from the DUI

Should you be convicted of a DUI that resulted in the death or disfigurement of another individual, you will be looking at the following consequences:

  • Felony conviction with a loss of civil rights and career loss
  • Not less than five years nor more than 25 years in the state penitentiary

Chemical Testing and Implied Consent Laws

Under Mississippi state law, any licensed person operating a motor vehicle automatically gives his or her consent to an approved test (blood, breath, or urine) for the purposes of showing intoxication. Refusing to take a test will result in immediate license forfeiture and suspension of up to one year.

Chemical tests must be administered by a licensed person using set standards approved by the State Crime Laboratory and the Commissioner of Public Safety. Blood tests must be performed by a doctor, mortician, nurse, or other clinical personnel. In addition, a driver accused of a DUI offense has the right to request a second, independent, chemical test at his or her own expense.

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