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In Mississippi it is a criminal offense to drive under the influence of alcohol, or, for adults (aged Jackson MS DUI Lawyer21 and over) to drive while having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%.  If you are under 21 the BAC limit is 0.02% and for commercial drivers it is 0.04%.

A conviction of DUI can result both in a criminal penalty, imprisonment, a fine or both, and suspension of your license for a specified time.

If a breath, blood or urine test shows that you have exceeded the BAC limit while driving then your driving license can be immediately suspended and you will be issued with a special temporary license pending the outcome of the case.

If you refuse to submit to a test then that can be held against you in subsequent criminal proceedings unless you can demonstrate that your refusal was reasonable.

Most first DUI convictions are misdemeanors but if your DUI results in the death or disfigurement of somebody else then the DUI offense can become a felony resulting in imprisonment of between 5 and 25 years.

The penalties in Mississippi for DUI are severe. 

  • For an adult on a first offense there can be a fine of $250-$1,000 fine and court costs, imprisonment in a county jail for up to 48 hours, and a one year suspension of your driving license.
  • For an adult on a second offense within 5 years there can be a fine between $600-$1,500 and court costs, imprisonment in a county jail for between 5 days to one year, or community service of 10 days to one year, two years license suspension, and your vehicle impounded or immobilized for term of license suspension
  • For a third offense there is a fine between $2,000-$5,000, one to five years imprisonment, the suspension of your driver’s license for five years, the seizure of your vehicle for sale by the state, and your conviction as a felon, with the accompanying loss of certain civil rights such as the right to vote.

Defenses against DUI

  • You can challenge the actions of the arresting officer.  Did the officer have cause to suspect you of DUI or did he/she stop your vehicle on a random basis?
  • Was the breath, blood or urine test conducted at the right time?  It is not unknown for the test to take place an hour after the officer pulled you over.  That interval may create a defense that the BAC may have been lower at the time you were driving as compared with the time you were tested.
  • You may want to have an independent blood or urine test as soon as possible after your release from custody which may help to invalidate the charges against you.  The results of a breathalyzer or blood tests can often be challenged.
  • Did the arresting officer submit the arresting ticket to the clerk of the court within the appropriate timescale?
  • Do you have a medical condition which could mimic impairment or invalidate the findings of the BAC test?

If you are questioned and/or charged with DUI then it is vital that you do not say anything before you have consulted an attorney, even to your own family. Do not assume that nothing can be done about any charges. The laws against DUI are becoming ever more severely enforced and it is important to get advice from an attorney with experience of DUI so that all the options can be considered.