Like other states, in the wake of what seemed like an outbreak of deaths and serious injuries related to drunk driving, Mississippi changed its DUI laws so as to impose harsher penalties on those who engage in this behavior.
Now, a first time offender can spend up to 48 hours in jail, even if he or she has no prior record. Additionally, he or she may get ordered to pay up to $1,000 in fines over and above other customary fees.
Those convicted will also have to complete a state-mandated course.
The good news is that after completing this course, they will be able to serve a 90-day license suspension instead of up to a full year.
Unless they did not agree to a chemical test, the court can reduce the penalty to 30 days. Those with commercial licenses face lengthier suspensions.
Likewise, once a Gulfport resident has prior DUI convictions, penalties get harsher. In some situations, multiple convictions can land a person a felony conviction and up to 5 years. The authorities may also seek to seize and sell the offender’s car.
Other factors can also increase a person’s penalty. Not surprisingly, if a person gets hurt or killed in an accident, then the accused could face a lengthy prison sentence if even if he or she has no prior criminal history. The penalty can include a 25-year jail term.
Likewise, people under 21 also face enhanced penalties for drunk driving. They also can face a drunk driving charge if their blood alcohol content is .02.
But the bottom line is that even an otherwise good citizen of this state who gets accused of a DUI is looking at some serious repercussions. Moreover, the criminal penalties aside, a person can also face trouble at work and with finding affordable car insurance. Before making any decisions, he or she should take time to understand all of the legal options.