In Mississippi, a person is guilty of a DUI if he or she drives (1) while under the influence of any substance which has impaired such person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle, OR (2) while under the influence of a drug which is unlawful to possess under the Mississippi Controlled Substances Law. Miss. Code Ann. §§ 63-11-30(1)(b),(d)(West 2009).
- Any person who operates a motor vehicle upon the public highways, public roads and streets of Mississippi shall be deemed to have given his consent to chemical tests of his breath, blood or urine for the purpose of determining the presence in his body of any other substance which would impair a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. Id. § 63-11-5(1).
- Refusal shall result in driver’s license suspension for 90 days. Id. § 63-11-5(2).
- Any person arrested for refusal to submit to chemical tests under shall be informed that he has the right to telephone for the purpose of requesting legal or medical assistance immediately after being booked. Id. § 63-11-5(4).
- Evidence of defendant’s refusal of test is admissible. Price v. State, 752 So. 2d 1070 (Miss. Ct. App. 1999).
NOTE: Minimum penalties shall not be reduced.
- First offense – fine of not less than $250, nor more than $1,000, OR imprisonment for not more than 48 hours, or both (the court may substitute attendance at a victim impact panel instead of 48 hours in jail); suspension of driving privileges for at least 90 days (privileges may be reinstated due to hardship, but not until 30 days have elapsed from effective date of suspension). Miss. Code Ann. § 63-11-30(2)(a) (West 2009).
- Second offense (within 5 years) – fine of not less than $600 nor more than $1,500; imprisonment for not less than 5 days, nor more than 1 year; community service for not less than 10 days, nor more than 1 year; license suspension for 2 years; offenders vehicle may be subject to impoundment; offender will be subject to an in-depth diagnostic assessment to determine whether treatment is required. Id. § 63-11-30(2)(d); Id. § 63-11-30(2)(b).
- Third offense (within 5 years) felony – fine of not less than $2,000, nor more than $5,000; imprisonment for not less than 1 year nor more than 5 years; offenders vehicle will be seized; license suspension for 5 years. Id. § 63-11-30(2)(c).
In Mississippi, law enforcement officials are entitled to conduct sobriety checkpoints under the federal Constitution.
Police officers checking driver’s licenses of all passing motorists did not violate constitutional rights. Police officers, with experience in drug recognition, smelled burned marijuana in vehicle and had probable cause to search vehicle. Miller v. State, 373 So.2d 1004 (Miss. 1979).
Price v. State, 752 So. 2d 1070 (1999) — Evidence of defendant’s refusal of test is permissible argument for prosecutor on closing.
Beal v. State, 958 So.2d 254 (2007) — Evidence was sufficient to support conviction for DUI notwithstanding the fact that officer allowed defendant to drive from scene after receiving a call requesting assistance at an accident; officer observed marijuana on defendant’s clothing and noted that defendant’s eyes were bloodshot and that defendant stated that he had smoked marijuana a short time before the stop.