In Mississippi, the minimum blood alcohol content (BAC) required for a DUI (driving under the influence) conviction is .08 for drivers ages 21 and up. The minimum BAC is .04 for commercial drivers and an even lower .02 for drivers under 21.
Implied Consent Law
Mississippi is one of the many states that maintains an implied consent law. You must take a chemical test of either your urine, breath, or blood if requested to do so by a police officer who has probable cause.
Should you refuse to consent to this test, you will be instantly arrested. Your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for a period of 90 days. If you’ve already been convicted of a DUI, your license will be suspended for a year. You will also be subject to a minimum $250 fine should you refuse to take a chemical test. Because of these penalties, it is not generally advisable to decline.
Penalties for DUI
For any DUI conviction in Mississippi, you will usually be required to attend a victim impact panel and take a course in alcohol safety. There is no minimum jail time for a first DUI offense, but the fines associated with a first conviction range from $250 to $1,000. Your license will also be suspended for a period of 90 days. However, there is a possibility you will be permitted to drive after 30 days in the event of a hardship. For instance, if there is no public transportation to your job and you have dependents, you might get your license back sooner than the 90-day minimum.
A second conviction carries a jail sentence of five days to a year, a fine of $600 to $1,500, 10 days to a year of community service and a license suspension of up to two years. Your vehicle may also be temporarily impounded and you may have an ignition interlock device installed on your car for six months after you get your licenses back.
In Mississippi, a third DUI conviction is a felony that carries a one to five year jail sentence and a fine of $2,000 to $5,000 dollars. Additionally, your license can be suspended up to five years and your vehicle seized. You will likely be required to use an ignition interlock device once your license is reinstated.
The “washout” or “lookback” time period is five years in Mississippi, which means that if your prior DUI (or DUIs) occurred more than five years ago, they will not count in the minimum sentencing. For example, if you are convicted of your first DUI in 2015 and of another in 2022, the second conviction will be sentenced as a first offense, because more than five years have passed.
Changes in Mississippi DUI Laws
Over recent years, Mississippi DUI laws have been strengthened. Unlike in some other states, in Mississippi, you cannot plea down to a lesser offense such as a “wet reckless.”