Mississippi prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle:
“Under the influence” means a state of intoxication that “lessens a person’s normal ability for clarity and control.”
A DUI (sometimes called “OUI” for “operating under the influence) is a first offense in Mississippi if the driver has no prior DUI convictions within the past five years and less than three convictions within a lifetime.
A first offense DUI is typically a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 48 hours in jail. The convicted person will also have to pay $250 to $1,000 in fines. However, certain aggravating circumstances can increase the penalties for a first DUI conviction.
DUI child endangerment. A drunk or drugged driver who had a child under 16 years old in the vehicle can be charged with child endangerment. A conviction carries up to 12 months in jail and a maximum $1,000 in fines.
Fatalities and injuries. A DUI that involves a fatality or certain serious injuries to another person is aggravated DUI, a felony. Convicted drivers are looking at five to 25 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
A first DUI conviction will be reported to the Commissioner of Public Safety, who will suspend the driver’s license for 120 days. At the time of the incident, the officer will also seize the driver’s license if the driver had a BAC of .08% or more. The driver will be given a receipt, which serves as a temporary license for 30 days before the 120-day suspension begins. All vehicles owned by the offender must be equipped with an ignition interlock device (IID) or be immobilized or impounded.
Mississippi’s “implied consent” laws require all drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI to submit to a breath or blood test. An unlawful refusal will result in the driver’s license being immediately seized and suspended for 90 days. This suspension is in addition to the 120-day conviction suspension.