It is a well-known fact that it is illegal to drive in Mississippi while under the influence of alcohol. There are generally two types of DUIs you can get for alcohol-impaired driving. The first is the “Common-Law DUI” and you will be charged with it based off the observed impairment the driver displays. The second type of DUI is a “Statutory DUI,” and this occurs when the driver has a blood alcohol level of .08% or more. What this means is that even if you are not observably impaired, you are per se/statutorily impaired under the law of this State. Minors under 21 have even a lower allowable blood alcohol content, it is .02%; anything above that, and a minor will be charged with a DUI. If you’re reading this, then you might wonder why anyone would submit to a breathalyzer exam, well the short answer is because you already have agreed to it as a condition for the privilege to drive in Mississippi. It’s a concept known as implied consent, and it requires you to submit to a breath, urine, or blood alcohol test when requested by an officer. If you refuse to submit to a properly requested breath test, you forfeit your license for 90 days.
Mississippi DUI Penalties
Mississippi Code Ann. § 63-11-30(2) is the section of our State’s law that lays out the penalties for each DUI that a driver can be subjected to. Below is a quick summary of each.
- DUI First: fine between $250-$1,000.00, possible jail time up to 48 hours, Alcohol Safety Education Course (MASEP Course). A DUI first also has the possibility of non-adjudication which means that certain circumstances may allow the charged individual to plead guilty and enter a program that keeps the individual’s driving record clean and have the DUI expunged after five years. The two most important requirements of a non-adjudication are that the individual can not have ever had a previous DUI conviction anywhere in the country, and the individual’s BAC had to be under .16%, which is two times the legal limit. Additionally, your first DUI trial will take place in either a Justice Court or Municipal Court.
- DUI Second: A second DUI offense in Mississippi within five years of the first charge can result in a misdemeanor, fine between $600.00-$1,500.00, jail time of 5-6 days, and community service of 10 days – 6 months.
- DUI Third: A third DUI in 5 years is considered a felony, and the individual will be subject to a fine of $2,000-5,000, 1-5 years custody under Mississippi Department of Corrections.
- DUI Fourth: Regardless of time or place, an individual getting his or her fourth DUI while in Mississippi is guilty of a felony and will be fined between $3,000-10,000 and serve 2-10 years under custody of MDOC.