Mississippi’s Underage OUI Laws

How Mississippi’s drunk driving laws apply to drivers who are under 21 years old and the consequences of an underage OUI.

By , Attorney

Under Mississippi's "zero tolerance for minors" law, it's illegal for drivers who are younger than the legal drinking age (21 years old) to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% or more. Here are the consequences a driver faces if convicted of an underage OUI (operating under the influence) offense.

Underage OUI Penalties

An underage OUI violation will result in the following consequences:

  • First offense. For a first violation, the driver will generally be looking at a 120-day license suspension and a $250 fine. The driver will also have to complete an alcohol safety education program and might be required to attend a victim impact panel.
  • Second offense. For a second violation within five years, the driver will typically be facing a one-year license suspension and a $500 fine.
  • Third offense. For a third violation or subsequent offense within five years, the driver will typically be facing a two-year license suspension (or until age 21 if longer than two years) and a $1,000 fine.

Depending on the circumstances, a driver might be eligible for a restricted license with the use of an ignition interlock device. Also, first offenders can generally avoid an OUI criminal conviction and certain penalties by successfully completing the "non-adjudication program."

When Underage Drivers Face Standard OUI Penalties

Underage drivers who are caught operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or more or while under the influence of (impaired by) drugs or alcohol face the standard OUI penalties. Depending on the circumstances, someone convicted of a standard OUI could be looking at fines, jail time, and license suspension.

Talk to an Attorney

Regardless of the charge, it's always best to talk to an experienced OUI attorney if you've been cited for driving under the influence. A qualified lawyer can tell you how the law applies to your situation and help you decide on the best course of action.

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