Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol in Mississippi is a conviction that comes with serious penalties. The criminal consequences of DUI could change your life. You may have to pay hefty fines, serve jail time or fulfill another sentence.
A conviction could also make it more difficult to keep your job or find a new one.
What is DUI?
Mississippi Code section 63-11-30 defines DUI as operating a vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any other substance that impairs driving capabilities. The maximum blood alcohol concentration level in the state is 0.08%. If a chemical test shows you were operating a vehicle at this BAC, you could face a DUI charge.
Police in Mississippi have the ability to arrest someone for DUI even with less than 0.08% BAC. If the officer believes you are unable to safely operate your vehicle, you could face a DUI charge regardless of BAC level.
Fines and jail time for DUI
Conviction for a first offense DUI in Mississippi can lead to penalties such as 48 hours in jail and/or fines between $250 and $1,000. The actual amount you could pay will also include court fees. For a second offense DUI, the penalties increase to five days to up to one year in jail, and/or fines of $600 to $1,500. A third or subsequent DUI offense in a five-year period comes with one to five years in jail and/or fines of $2,000 to $5,000.
Penalties against your license
On top of fines and jail time, you could also suffer penalties against your driver’s license. A DUI conviction could result in license suspension for 90 days up to two years depending on the number of offenses. Furthermore, the courts may order you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, complete alcohol education courses and perform community service. A commercial driver could lose his or her license for one year or permanently for DUI.