The Southeastern portion of the United States is known for having relaxed laws when it comes to DUI penalties, and Mississippi is no exception when the penalties for infractions are compared to the rest of the nation. While their BAC, or blood-alcohol concentration limits, are similar to those everywhere, minimal jail time is the exception. Drivers operating a vehicle in this state can do so with a BAC percentage that is below.08 percent. Drivers of commercial vehicles must have a BAC that is below .04 percent. Anyone under the age of 21 must have a BAC that is below .02 percent, or they will be subject to the penalties that have been outlined by the Zero Tolerance policies in place.
Despite the fact that Mississippi carries light penalties when it comes to DUIs, Implied Consent laws are still in place. This legislation makes it necessary for drivers to submit for testing of drugs or the presence of alcohol when an arresting officer has reason to suspect that these substances are present in a driver. Failure to submit to testing or the inability of the driver to submit to such testing for any number of physical reasons can result in the following penalties: The first refusal on the part of the driver can result in the automatic suspension of their license for a period of 90 days; the second time that a test is not given can possibly lead to license suspension for the period of one year and a third occurrence can carry a suspension of three years.
Minimal Jail Time
Unlike most states in the nation, Mississippi has no minimal jail time for a driver that is convicted of a DUI for the first time. The second offense comes with a minimal jail time of five days and possible installation of an ignition interlock device instead of vehicle immobilization. The third offense carries a sentence of one year in jail. Mississippi also differs from most states in the nation due to the fact that the impact of a previous conviction on subsequent ones is extremely small. A judge can only consider past DUI convictions for a period of five years when sentencing is carried out. However, there is no breathing room when it comes to pleading for lesser charges. Many states will allow defendants to plea for charges that fall under the category of “wet reckless” driving. This charge is essentially a misdemeanor with the presence of alcohol. This type of plea has been barred by statutes in this state.
Felony DUI in Mississippi
Felony DUI in the state of Mississippi is highly dependent on the driving record of the individual in question. If a person is receiving their third DUI with the last DUI occurring within a five -year period, then the results are an automatic felony offense. Additionally, the bodily injury and or death of another individual while driving intoxicated can result in an automatic felony offense. With a felony conviction comes a fine of at least $2,000, imprisonment for no less than one year and a license suspension of at least five years.