If an individual is pulled over on a suspicion of drunken driving, and an officer determines their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is below the legal limit of 0.08%, they can still be arrested and charged with DUI. Although the State of Michigan says that it is illegal for most drivers to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC level of 0.08% or higher, there is a chance a driver can still be arrested for driving under the influence if they are showing signs of impairment. Signs of impairment might include:
- The inability to maintain a lane.
- Stopping in the middle of the road.
- Making illegal maneuvers such as an improper lane change.
- Forgetting to put their lights on.
- Driving too slowly.
Once a driver is pulled over, an officer may look for the following signs which are common among drivers who have a lower BAC level:
- The driver’s reasoning and memory seem to be impaired.
- They may have slurred speech.
- They appear to feel overly relaxed.
How does the law apply to commercial motor vehicle operators?
If the operator of a commercial motor vehicle such as a semi-truck or public transit bus is caught with a BAC level of 0.04% or is presumed to be intoxicated, they too could be arrested and charged with DUI. Because the law does hold these types of drivers to a higher standard as they are usually transporting heavy or hazardous materials or passengers, the legal limit has been lowered for them.
What if a minor is caught driving intoxicated?
Minors who operate a motor vehicle are said to be in violation of the law if their BAC level is 0.02% or higher, however, an officer could place them under arrest if they are showing any sign of impairment. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol, and it is a violation of the law for them to get behind the wheel of a car or truck after having consumed any amount of alcohol. For teens, the legal limit has been set to 0.02%.
What are the penalties for DUI in Mississippi?
If a driver is convicted of DUI for the first time, they could face the following penalties although other circumstances could lower or enhance these:
- Fine of $250.00 but not more than $1,000.
- Imprisoned for not more than 48 hours. The court may allow an individual to substitute their jail time in exchange for them attending a victim impact panel.
- Complete an alcohol safety program.
- Suspension of driver’s license for 30 days.
- Have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.
[Source: MS Code §63-11-30].
Contacting a Jackson, MS DUI Lawyer After an Arrest
If a driver has been arrested and charged with DUI in Jackson, they can contact Ballard Law, PLLC for legal advice and representation. DUI charges not only carry several penalties, but they can taint a person’s record for years to come. To find out if a DUI charge can be challenged or what the potential outcome might be in the case, contact Ballard Law, PLLC to speak with a Jackson, MS DUI attorney.
Ballard Law, PLLC can be reached at:
108 S. President Street
Jackson, MS 39201