Since 2013, drunk driving deaths in Mississippi have reportedly dropped by 39%. This statistic comes via WLOX from the advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which grades the state’s DUI laws as a 4.5 out of 5. A number of new changes to the laws have taken place over the last five years. As of Jan. 1st, 2019, all have taken effect. This means that it is important for you to understand what the changes are and how they could affect you.
An ignition interlock device is like a personal breathalyzer that installs into your dashboard and prevents you from starting the vehicle if your blood alcohol concentration is above a certain threshold. As of 2014, judges have the option of requiring you to have an IID installed in your vehicle rather than issuing a license suspension. This prevents you from driving when it is unsafe to do so but allows you to meet work and other commitments that require transportation. You may be eligible for an IID even if it is your first offense.
Following your first DUI, you may have an opportunity for non-adjudication (meaning the court will not find you guilty) or expungement. Another change to the law provides this option. However, the opportunity is only available one time. It will not apply to subsequent DUI charges.
The most recent change to DUI laws in Mississippi happened in 2016. It makes a fourth-offense DUI a felony, doing away with the previous five-year time frame that formerly applied and could reduce your charges if your most recent prior DUI happened far enough in the distant past.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.