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Mississippi DUI Law

Legal Standard:

Mississippi’s drunk driving statute encompasses all of the following levels of intoxication:

  • Driving under the influence of liquor
  • Driving under the influence of any other intoxicating substance
  • Driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08 or greater
  • Operating a commercial vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .04 or greater

First Offense:  Penalties for the first offense in Mississippi are a fine of $250 - $1,000 and/or 48 hours in jail.  At the court’s discretion, a Victim Impact Panel may be substituted for the 48 hours of jail time.  In addition, the court may require the completion of an Alcohol Safety Education Program.  Finally, the court will suspend your license for a minimum of 90 days.

After the first offense, you can apply for a “hardship exception” to the license suspension.  Obtaining this will permit you to drive (1) to work, (2) to attend school, and (3) to obtain medical care.

Second Offense:  The second conviction within 5 years in Mississippi results in a fine of $600 - $1,500, 5 days – 1 year in jail, and 10 days – 1 year of community service.  None of the minimum sentences will be suspended.  After your second conviction, the court will suspend your license for 2 years.  For this offense, there can be no “hardship exception” to the license suspension.

After your second offense, the court may also require you to undergo an in-depth diagnostic assessment for alcohol and drug issues.  If you are the sole owner/operator of the car you were driving drunk in, the court will order it to be impounded or immobilized for the duration of the suspension.  If someone else in your household operates or owns the car also, the court will order the attachment of an ignition interlock system to the vehicle.  The ignition interlock will be set so that the car can not be used when a BAC of greater than .025 is present.

Third Offense:  The third conviction in 5 years is a felony.  The court will impose a fine of $2,000 - $5,000 and a prison term of 1 – 5 years.  As long as no one was seriously injured or killed, this term can be served in the county jail.  Here, as with the second offense, there is no suspension of the minimum sentences.  A five year license suspension will attach for the third offense and you may not apply for the “hardship exception.” 

After your third offense, the court may also require you to undergo an in-depth diagnostic assessment for alcohol and drug issues.  If you are the sole owner/operator of the car you were driving drunk in, the court will order it to be impounded or immobilized for the duration of the suspension.  If someone else in your household operates or owns the car also, the court will order the attachment of an ignition interlock system to the vehicle.  The ignition interlock will be set so that the car can not be used when a BAC of greater than .025 is present.

Drunk Driving Where Death, Mutiliation, Disfigurement, or Permanent Disability Results:  In this case, the penalty escalates to 5 – 25 years in prison.  For multiple injuries or deaths resulting from one crash, the court may choose to enforce those penalties consecutively or concurrently.

Under 21:  If you are under 21 and have a BAC of over .08, the same sanctions apply as if you were over 21.  But, if you are under 21 years of age and are driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of between .02 and .08, the court will apply the following sanctions. 

First Offense:  The first conviction under 21 is punished with a $250 fine and a 90 day suspension of the driver’s license.  The court will also order attendance at an Alcohol Safety Program.  At the court’s discretion, a Victim Impact Panel may also be assigned.

Second Offense:  The second conviction results in a fine of up to $500 and a one year suspension of the driver’s license.

Third offense in five Years:  If you have three offenses under the age of 21, the court will impose a $1,000 fine and suspend your license for 2 years or until you are 21 – whichever is longer.