What Is a Felony DUI/OUI in Mississippi?

Aggravating factors that can make a drunk driving charge a felony.

In Mississippi, you can get a DUI (driving while intoxicated) (also called "operating under the influence" or "OUI") for operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or while under the influence of (impaired by) drugs or alcohol. Generally, a DUI is a misdemeanor, but certain circumstances can elevate a DUI to a felony.

Here are some of the circumstances that can result in felony DUI charges in Mississippi.

Third or Subsequent DUI Conviction Is a Felony

Generally, a first or second DUI is a misdemeanor in Mississippi. But if an offender has two prior convictions within the past five years, the third offense will be a felony. And, a fourth or subsequent DUI is a felony regardless of when the prior convictions occurred.

A third DUI conviction within five years carries $2,000 to $5,000 in fines and one to five years in jail or prison. Fourth and subsequent DUI convictions carry $3,000 to $10,000 and two to ten years in prison.

Child Passengers

A DUI involving a passenger who's under the age of 16 is considered "child endangerment." Child endangerment where the DUI is the offender's third or subsequent offense is a felony.

A conviction carries at least $10,000 in fines and one to five years in jail. DUIs involving the death or serious injury of a child passenger carry a minimum fine of $10,000 and five to 25 years in prison.

Felony Charges for DUIs Involving Injuries and Deaths

A DUI offender who kills or seriously injures another person while driving under the influence can be charged with an "aggravated DUI." An aggravated DUI conviction generally carries five to 25 years in prison.

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