Mississippi’s driving under the influence law is laid out in Title 63, Chapter 11, Part 30 of the Miss. Code.  It states that: It is unlawful for any person to drive or otherwise operate a vehicle within this state who (a) is under the influence of intoxicating liquor; (b) is under the influence of any other substance which has impaired such person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle; (c) has an alcohol concentration of eight one-hundredths percent (.08%) or more for persons who are above the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages under state law. 

What “under the influence” and “intoxicated” exactly means can be relative and subjective.  Notice that the statute criminalizes being under the influence of an intoxicating liquor, or having an alcohol concentration of eight one-hundredths percent or more (.08%).  It can be either one.  There is no scientific, numbers-based measure of “under the influence.”  It can essentially just be someone’s opinion.

The penalties for a first offense DUI in Mississippi include a fine between $250 and $1000, and/or 48 hours in jail.  The court may substitute attendance at a victim impact panel for the jail sentence.   There is a minimum 90-day driver’s license suspension, which could go up to one year.  A Mississippi DUI attorney can review the case to see what possible defenses can be used, and what the likely outcome will be if the person is convicted. 

Mississippi does not have a restricted driver’s license program like Tennessee.  If your license is suspended, it is suspended, period.  However, some offenders may be able to reduce the suspension period to 30 days.  This option will not be available to individuals who refused to submit to a blood or breath alcohol test.  In order to get a reduction, you must show that a license suspension would result in a hardship toward work, school, or medical care.  A Southaven DUI lawyer can work for the lowest suspension possible if you’re convicted of driving under the influence. 

If a second offense DUI occurs within five years of the first, the defendant will be sentenced from five days up to 1 year in jail, and ordered to pay a fine between $600 and $1,500.  Their license will be suspended for two years, and he or she may be ordered to install an ignition interlock device on the vehicle.

DUI convictions cannot be expunged or sealed, even for first-time offenders.  Some first-offense misdemeanor convictions in Mississippi can be removed from a person’s record, but not driving under the influence.  DUI is considered a traffic violation, and state law excludes these types of offenses from expungement.

With so much at stake, it is important that you handle your case properly if you’ve been charged with DUI in Mississippi.  Patrick Stegall is a Southaven DUI lawyer and handles drunk driving charges throughout North Mississippi.  If you’d like for him to review your case, please contact him at (901) 205-9894 or pstegall@stegall-law.com.

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