There are two ways you can be considered driving under the influence (Mississippi DUI) in the state of Mississippi under current state law. The first is if you are driving with enough alcohol or drugs in your system to create a driving hazard. This will be determined based on your driving behavior at the time you are pulled over. Mississippi also has a per se law that states that it is illegal to be operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. This means you can be arrested for DUI even if you are driving well provided your BAC tests high enough.DUI Arrests in Mississippi
Being arrested for DUI in Mississippi sparks two separate cases, an administrative hearing and a criminal court case. In fact, your drunk driving arrest will immediately trigger an administrative license revocation. The only way you can get your license back is by making a request to the Mississippi DMV in time. You only have ten days in which to file the request for the administrative hearing. If you do not request it, you will automatically give up your right to drive. Having a qualified Mississippi DUI attorney working with you will ensure that you file the necessary paperwork correctly and on time.
At your criminal hearing the courts will decide your other punishments. You will have to pay fines, attend classes, and do community service, depending on the details of your case. An attorney will help you work to prove your innocence and get the least strict consequences of your offense.
When you are arrested you will be asked to submit to a BAC test. You can refuse to take this test, but if you do you will automatically lose your license. Even if your attorney is able to prove your innocence at your hearing, you will still have to serve a 90-day license suspension for test refusal.Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders
If your Mississippi DUI conviction is your first, you can expect to face the following consequences:
Mississippi DUI offenses are considered for five years. After five years, previous DUI offenses cannot be considered when deciding your consequences. Subsequent DUI offenses within the five-year timeframe do carry tougher consequences.License Suspensions for Mississippi DUI
Your Mississippi DUI conviction will also bring license suspensions, depending on how many other convictions you have on your record in the past five years. The maximum license suspension times are as follows:
You will be able to apply for a hardship license that allows you to go to work, school, or the doctor's office if necessary. You will have to serve at least 30 days of your suspension before applying for this license. Your attorney will help you present a valid argument for your need for the hardship license when you apply.Insurance Consequences
Besides losing your license, money, and time, a Mississippi DUI offense will also cause you to lose your insurance coverage in most situations. If your insurance company is lenient and does not drop you, it will increase the cost of your coverage. This rate increase could affect all of your family members and even your employer if you drive commercially.