Recently, the police department of Portland, Tennessee came under fire for its handling of a routine DUI stop. One night, after pulling over a vehicle for driving without headlights on, officers began conducting a standard field sobriety test. During the test, officers noticed that the driver had slurred speech, glassy eyes, and smelled of alcohol. Based on standardized field sobriety test results, the driver failed. However, one of the officers noticed that the driver of the vehicle was a city employee. A short time later, the driver was picked up from the scene and driven home. No charges were filed and no arrest was made.
While unfortunate, this “cover-up” is not at all routine among the nation’s police departments. The rules that officers must follow when conducting a DUI traffic stop are incredibly strict. Failure to appropriately follow these rules can result in dire consequences. In the State of Mississippi, law enforcement follows these rules exceptionally well.
How Does Mississippi Define Driving Under The Influence?
Mississippi law states that it is illegal for a person to operate a vehicle if they are under the influence of any of the following: intoxicating liquor; any other substance that has impaired the person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle; any drug or controlled substance.
It is also illegal for a person who is of legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages to operate a motor vehicle in Mississippi if that person has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of eight one-hundredths percent (.08%) or more. If the person is under the legal age, their BAC cannot be greater than two one-hundredths percent (.02%). If the person is of legal age and is operating a commercial vehicle, their BAC cannot exceed four one-hundredths percent (.04%).
What Happens if You Are Convicted of a DUI Offense in Mississippi?
A DUI conviction carries stiff penalties which increase in severity, depending on the offense.
A person convicted of a first offense DUI will be subject to a fine between Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) and One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or imprisonment of up to forty-eight (48) hours in jail, or both. Additionally, a person convicted of a first offense DUI must attend and complete an alcohol safety education program within six (6) months of sentencing.
A person convicted of a second offense DUI faces a fine of up to One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00) and a term of imprisonment of up to six months.
Simply put, the punishments worsen as a person’s offenses increase. Even a first offense DUI conviction can result in dire consequences including driving license suspension/revocation, fines and jail time. Additionally, a person convicted of a DUI may be prevented from seeking certain employment opportunities and from applying to certain educational and certification programs.
Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to prevent or minimize the harshness of these consequences. To ensure that a person charged with DUI in Mississippi has the best chance to fight these potential consequences, they need the right attorney on their side.
What Should You Do if You’re Arrested on a DUI Charge in Mississippi?
If you find yourself charged with a drunk driving offense in Mississippi, you need the help of an experienced, qualified attorney who will fight your case from start to finish. You need the help of Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. No matter the circumstances of your case, the sooner you get in touch with one of our qualified attorneys, the better chance you have of a favorable outcome.
Over the years, Vic Carmody Jr. has become the champion of DUI defense in Mississippi. Vic Carmody Jr. is the only attorney in the State of Mississippi to be Board Certified by the National College of DUI Defense, and has more than 43 years of experience fighting to win in every type of drunk driving case.
The attorneys at Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. know how to fight these cases in Mississippi, and we have a team of experts ready to help.
To take the first step in fighting your case, give us a call for a free consultation at (601) 948-4444, option 1, or send us an email at email@example.com.
If you’d like to learn more about Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. and our robust practice areas, please visit our website at www.mississippi-lawyers.com and view our client success stories on www.avvo.com, www.superlawyers.com, and www.martindale.com.