If a Jackson, MS law enforcement officer pulls a driver over because he/she witnessed signs of intoxication, they will likely request that the driver submits to a breath test to confirm or deny their accusations. While an individual can refuse to submit to a chemical test (e.g. a breath test), there are consequences for doing so. According to Miss. Code Ann. §63-11-21, if a driver refuses a chemical test, they can expect the following to occur:
- The officer will require that he/she hand over their driver’s license.
- The officer will inform the driver that their refusal to partake in the chemical test will result in them having their driving privileges suspended.
- The driver shall be provided with a receipt for their license using forms provided by the Commissioner of Public Safety.
- The officer will forward the drivers’ license along with their report of the incident to the Commissioner of Public Safety “stating that he had reasonable grounds and probable cause to believe the person had been operating a motor vehicle [while intoxicated].”
After the Commissioner of Public Safety has been notified of the chemical test refusal, it shall suspend the drivers’ license for 90 days or longer depending on whether he/she has any prior DUI convictions.
Will a driver who refuses a chemical test be charged with DUI?
Generally, if an officer of the law suspects that a driver is operating their vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any other substance that can impair their ability to operate their motor vehicle, they will charge them with DUI and arrest them. although an arrest is not the same as a conviction, it is important to become aware of the penalties a DUI charge in Jackson, MS carries with it.
Penalties for First Offense DUI in Mississippi
According to Miss. Code Ann. §63-11-30, individuals who are convicted of DUI for the first time may face one or both of the following penalties:
- A fine of $250- $1,000.
- Serve up to 48 hours in jail.
In addition, the court shall order the individual to attend and complete an alcohol safety education program within six months of being sentenced. Under certain circumstances will the court allow the offender to attend a victim impact panel instead of having to serve 48 hours in jail. If the individual held a valid commercial driver’s license, their driving privileges may also be suspended. Anyone who has been charged with DUI in Jackson, MS must be aware that if their actions led to an accident that caused property damage, injury to another, or death, they could be charged with a more serious offense.
Speak with a DUI Defense Attorney in Jackson, MS Regarding a Recent DUI Arrest
After being arrested for DUI in Jackson, MS, it is likely a driver has many questions pertaining to their charges, their legal rights, and whether their charges can be reduced. If an individual would like these questions and any others answered, they can contact Ballard Law, PLLC to speak with a Jackson, MS DUI lawyer.
Ballard Law, PLLC can be reached at:
108 S. President Street
Jackson, MS 39201