Articles Posted in MS DUI Law

What Happens When You Commit a Third DUI Offense in Mississippi?

When it comes to DUIs in Mississippi, a “third strike” means significant penalties. If you have been charged with a third DUI, Mississippi courts will assume that you simply have not learned your lesson. This means that you face much more serious consequences.

While your situation may seem dire, you can strive for the best possible outcome with the help of a qualified attorney who has decades of experience. Expert legal assistance is absolutely essential when you are facing your third DUI, and it can help you avoid years of jail time, fines, and other penalties.

What Happens When You Commit a Second DUI Offense in Mississippi?

A DUI is a serious offense in the state of Mississippi, especially if you have committed this crime more than once. When you consider the impact that drunk driving has on our communities, it makes sense to take a very strict approach when punishing people who drive while intoxicated. In 2016 alone, drunk drivers contributed to 18% of all traffic-related fatalities in the state of Mississippi. On a broader scale, America contains more drunk drivers than the entire populations of most countries.

Because of the life-and-death nature of DUIs, Mississippi is striving to reduce the prevalence of these crimes by whatever means possible. Although educational programs, mass media initiatives, and sobriety checkpoints are all effective measures, the easiest way to deter drunk drivers is with harsh penalties. If you continuously drive while impaired, you can expect your legal penalties to become increasingly more serious if you reoffend.

For those who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and drive for a living, DUIs are handled differently in Mississippi. In contrast to a normal citizen, a commercial driver of a heavy truck can expect much harsher consequences when charged with a DUI. These charges become even more serious when the driver’s CDL is actually fraudulent. If you are caught driving under the influence with a fake CDL, it is important to seek help from a qualified legal expert who can explain your options in detail.

DUI Charges for Drivers With a CDL

If you have been charged with a DUI and you have a CDL, your future career is on the line. The first thing you need to know is that a completely different set of rules applies to you.

Often we hear of people being arrested for driving under the influence in their car, truck, boat, or some other well-known type of vehicle.  53 year old, Donna Byrne was arrested for driving under the influence of a different sort of vehicle.

Ms. Byrne was arrested and charged with drunk driving for riding a horse down a busy highway in Lakeland, Florida, while intoxicated.  Someone called 911 about a woman who appeared confused and possibly in danger.  When police arrived, they saw Ms. Byrne riding her horse in the road.

The officers conducted a sobriety test and Ms. Byrne’s breath samples registered a blood alcohol level of .161.  The legal limit to drive in Florida is .08.  You can read more about this arrest at https://www.nbcnews.com/news/weird-news/florida-woman-horseback-charged-dui-n817231

Anyone can find themselves in trouble with the law, especially when it comes to DUIs. In fact, you probably have a friend or have experienced yourself how quickly a person can be pulled over and issued a citation or arrested.

Bo Wallace, the three year starting quarterback at Ole Miss, found himself in this exact situation earlier this month. He was arrested in Clay County by the West Point Police earlier this June. According to East Mississippi Community College Coach Buddy Stephens, Wallace had taken prescription medication that day. On his way home he fell asleep and wrecked. You can read more about this incident here.

All kinds of people get charged with DUIs, even SEC quarterbacks. This is a serious matter that should be handled with the help of a skilled attorney. If you or a loved one ends up in this scary situation please contact our office for a free consultation to discuss your options. You can reach our office at 601-948-4444 or visit our website.

Encounters with law enforcement can be scary.  You might not know how to act or respond when you get pulled over, and you might be unsure about why you were pulled over in the first place. People tend to be serious when interacting with the police, but one college student took a different approach.

A student from the University of Central Arkansas was pulled over for having a broken tail light. When the police asked him if he had been drinking he responded with fun and merriment to show the police officer that he was not intoxicated.  In fact, the student was an amateur magician, and he used his juggling skills to befriend the officer and show that he was not impaired. What could have been a tense situation was diffused with laughter and juggling. You can watch the video here.

Interactions with police are not always so light-hearted. If you find yourself in an adversarial encounter with police please do not hesitate to call our office at 601-948-4444. You may speak with an attorney and have a free consultation about your case. Please also look at our reviews at avvo.com and martindale.com.

Advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) ranked the 50 state’s DUI laws in a report that the group releases annually. The report found that Mississippi has the most stringent DUI laws in the country.

MADD came to this conclusion after surveying which states mandated the use of ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of DWI, including first-time offenders. MADD uses a 5-star rating system in its report based on whether states mandated the use of this device and whether states have specially trained police officers for detecting signs of drunk driving. Other factors the group uses when creating its rankings include frequency of sobriety check points, drunk driving patrols, whether the state has laws that impose harsher penalties for a drunk driver having a minor in the car, and punishing drivers who do not submit to a breathalyzer test.

Based on all of these factors, MADD concluded that Mississippi law enforcement has “cracked-down” the most, along with Maryland and Arizona, and tightened its DUI/DWI laws. You can read more at the Legal Examiner.

If you, the average American, had taken a prescription to assist you with your sleep deprivation then you were found asleep behind the wheel with your car running, would you be convicted of driving under the influence? I would venture to guess you are shaking your head “yes” right about now. Well that may not be the case, at least for everyone.

Former Navy Seal team member Rob O’Neill found himself in the exact situation; however, he was able to convince the prosecution to change the charges to a lesser offense. “Butte-Silver Bow County prosecutors instead charged O’Neill with negligent endangerment and deferred prosecution for up to a year while he undergoes treatment through the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

Granted, if preferential treatment should be given, who better to give it to than the man who claims he shot Osama bin Laden.

Charles Cahill, 49, is facing second-degree murder charges out of Wayne County, Michigan after he rear-ended a vehicle stopped at a stop sign that killed a 12-year-old passenger.

Other charges Cahill is now facing include: operating a vehicle with a high blood alcohol content causing death, operating while intoxicated, third offense, driving while license suspended causing death, and a misdemeanor charge of open intoxicants in a motor vehicle.

According to the Detroit Free Press: “[Cahill’s] driving record, police said, showed 12 drunken-driving convictions, ‘even though his driver’s license has been revoked by the Secretary of State since 1990.’”

Police Officer Jason Jarvis of the Hattiesburg Police Department just received an award from the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.  Officer Jarvis had 23 arrests for DUI in a two week period in 2015 and also had the most arrests in the state of Mississippi at 353.  He has been with HPD for about two years.  Officer Jarvis stated that the he takes pride in that fact that he gets impaired drivers off the road.

(see http://www.wdam.com/story/32799454/hpd-dui-officer-receives-awards)

While the pursuit to take impaired drivers off the roads is a noble one, the problem lies in the fact that all the recognition for officers and monetary grants to officers and departments are tied to arrests only.  Whether or not the person is actually found guilty plays no part.  This incentives officers to simply arrest as many people for DUI as possible because they receive their recognition and rewards regardless of what happens at court.  For those people who are actually innocent, the monetary costs, embarrassment and possible job loss they face is a unfair price to pay simply because an officer might be padding his stats so he can get the next award.

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