Mississippi DUI & DWI
In Mississippi, the penalties for a DUI conviction are determined based on prior convictions. This article provides an overview of how Mississippi law defines driving under the influence, as well as the penalties for first, second, and third DUI convictions.
Mississippi Drunk Driving Laws
Mississippi’s DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or OUI (Operating Under the Influence) laws strictly forbid individuals from operating a vehicle under various circumstances or conditions, which include but are not limited to:
- Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .08% (or at least .04% for commercial drivers)
- While under the influence of any illegal drug or substance
- “When a person is impacted by drug or alcohol use.”
- Under the influence of alcohol.
According to Mississippi law, being “under the influence” means being in a state of intoxication that impairs a person’s normal clarity and control.
What are Mississippi DWI Penalties?
Penalties for DUI are determined by judges and limited by a driver’s prior DUIs (including out-of-state convictions). The first and second DUI offenses are misdemeanors. Only the last five years are considered for determining first or second offenses. A third or subsequent DUI within a lifetime is considered a felony.
Up to 48 Hours in Jail plus fines between $250.00 to $1000.00
5 Day to 6 Months in Jail with fines from $600.00 to $1500.00
1 to 5 years in Jail with fines ranging from $2000.00 to $5000.00
Mississippi Drivers License Suspension
A driver’s license is suspended by the Commissioner of Public Safety when someone is convicted of DUI and fails a chemical test with a BAC of .08% or higher.
- If it’s your first offense, you’ll be facing a penalty of 120 days.
- If an individual commits the same offense a second time, they could face a prison sentence of up to one year.
- Three years for a third offense, and
- Ten years for a fourth offense.
If you have been convicted of a DUI but have not yet had your license suspended, you may be eligible for a restricted ignition interlock device (IID) license. This license will allow you to install an IID on any vehicle you drive as long as you pay the necessary fees.
If you own a vehicle that does not have the IID installed, you will be required to immobilize or impound it. While your license is suspended due to the DUI, you may still operate any vehicle that has an IID installed under this license.
In conclusion, DUI and DWI are serious offenses in the state of Mississippi. With so much at stake for those prosecuted with such charges, it is important to take the necessary steps to maintain your perfect driving record and avoid being subjected to punishments ranging from jail time to hefty fines.
Understanding the individual laws associated with DUI and DWI as measures implemented by the state of Mississippi will go a long way in helping you prevent a lapse in judgment resulting in an arrest.
Additionally, exploring options like the convenient “No Point System” provided by the Mississippi DMV can be absolutely essential if you’ve been given points against your driving record or have recently been convicted of a DUI or DWI offense.