Although they happen to a lot of good people, DUIs are not in any way minor offenses.
No one accused of drunk driving should think that they can just get it over with without facing any serious consequences.
For one, even a first offense can land a person in jail for up to 48 hours. The judge may decide to order a person to attend a victim impact panel instead of going to jail and may impose up to a $1,000 fine. Other costs and fees also apply.
Also, those convicted may face probation for up to 2 years and may have to go to an alcohol education program at their own expense.
Finally, the license suspension for a non-commercial driver is 120 days. In lieu of a suspension, a person can agree to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle at their expense.
A conviction for DUI can also carry non-criminal penalties
A Mississippi DUI will appear on a person’s criminal and driving records. This can have some significant professional and personal consequences.
For example, someone who drives for a living may have their career ruined by even one DUI.
Someone who holds a commercial driver’s license will not be allowed to use it for one year after a conviction, and there are no exceptions.
Others may still be able to drive, but the additional cost of insurance might be too much for them to afford or may prompt their employers to fire them.
There are other professions, like law or medicine for instance, which will impose punishments on members who commit a DUI, even if it is a first offense.
Before pleading guilty, a Gulfport resident accused of drunk driving should understand their legal options and possible alternatives. Sometimes, trying to just get it over with could lead to some negative consequences that could be avoided.