Being pulled over for drunk driving can be an embarrassing and painful experience. The penalties for a conviction of DUI in Mississippi, however, are even tougher. While all states have a standard of .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for intoxication of adults, the punishments vary widely, as well as the zero-tolerance penalties for minors.
While charges for DUI may seem bad enough, many people do not realize that additional charges are often added on at the arresting officer’s discretion. Mississippi is the only state that does not specifically prohibit possession of open alcohol containers. However, other misdemeanor charges may include disorderly conduct, refusing a breath test and child endangerment if there is a minor in the car. Underage drivers may face underage possession charges.
A conviction for drunk driving can cost you more than fines, license suspension and potential jail time. It can stay on your record for a long time, preventing you from pursuing employment opportunities. It is important if you are facing drunk driving and other charges that you have experienced and knowledgeable legal representation in East Central Mississippi that will fight for your rights and minimize the damage done to your record.
DUI Penalties in Mississippi
Although Mississippi does not have an enhanced penalty for high BAC, it does not allow issuance of a commercial driver’s license or a hardship or work permit driver’s license, even for a first offense. Some DUI penalties include:
- First and second offense: Misdemeanor, fines of $250 to $1500, two days to six months in jail plus community service work, license suspension of 120 days to one year, attendance in an alcohol safety education program and/or alcohol treatment program
- Third offense: Felony, fines of $2,000 to $5,000, one to five years in prison, license suspension for full term of sentence, required ignition interlocked restricted driver’s license
A refusal to take the Intoxilyzer 8000 in Mississippi violates implied consent laws. Under these laws, driving on a public road is a privilege, not a right. By refusing to take a breath test, the driver is resisting an officer’s enforcement of traffic laws. A refusal to take the breath test can carry a license suspension of 90 days to one year.