Many Mississippi residents rely on their cars heavily. Families need a vehicle to commute to and from work, take the kids to soccer and purchase groceries at the local store. For many people, owning a car goes beyond a privilege — a car might be necessary to maintain their quality of life.
When people make the mistake of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the consequences can be devastating, especially for repeat offenders. What happens to those who incur a second or third driving under the influence (DUI) charge?
Standard penalties for a DUI
State laws dictate the penalties for driving under the influence. In Mississippi, operating a motor vehicle while drunk can result in the loss of one’s license, fines or even a jail sentence. Those charged with a DUI will incur the following penalties:
- License suspension: The first offense incurs a 90-day license suspension, the second for a year and a third for two years. The court may confiscate one’s vehicle at its discretion.
- Alcohol education and treatment: State law requires offenders to complete alcohol education and treatment in every instance. Find more details about Mississippi’s program below.
- Ignition interlock device: The court may require installing a breathalyzer device on an offender’s car. This penalty is mandatory for repeat offenders.
In all cases, if a court finds an individual guilty of a DUI, must complete a Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program (MASEP) first. This evidence-based DUI prevention program is in its fifth iteration, having evolved from its early lecture-based curriculum from 1972. Today, MASEP professionals assess an individual’s relationship with drugs or alcohol and their mental health. Program administrators then provide resources and programming to help individuals with their specific issues. The evolved program addresses the systemic issues in one’s behavior that leads to these dangerous choices.
A strong legal defense can help
A DUI can have devastating consequences on one’s ability to work and other essential functions. Those charged with a DUI have more success working with a local attorney familiar with Mississippi DUI laws.