THREE BIG CHANGES TO MISSISSIPPI'S DUI LAWS

You may have heard that significant changes to Mississippi’s DUI laws will take¬†effect on October 1, 2014. Well, that’s true, and here are a few of the major changes the public should know about.

***Are you facing a DUI refusal? Did you refuse to blow on the machine? Click HERE for important info about this type of DUI.***

Ignition Interlock Device Mississippi

Long a staple of DUI laws in other states, the ignition interlock device will now be a significant part of DUI cases in Mississippi. An ignition interlock device is a breath test machine wired to a car’s starter system. It is impossible to start a vehicle’s engine if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath. People convicted of DUIs in Mississippi after October 1, 2014, will be forced to have these devices installed on their cars for 90 days.

WHAT IS A NON-ADJUDICATED DUI IN MISSISSIPPI?

According to Mississippi Code Annotated Section 63-11-30, a first-time offender facing a DUI charge in Mississippi will be eligible for non-adjudication under certain circumstances. Non-adjudication occurs when a person charged with a DUI pleads guilty, but the judge finds the individual not guilty.

Instead, With Non-Adjudication, A DUI Defendant Must:

  • Undergo a period of probation
  • Pay all court costs and fines that they would have paid if convicted
  • Pay a $250 non-adjudication fee into the Interlock Device Fund of the State Treasury
  • Attend the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program (MASEP)
  • Have an ignition interlock device installed on their car for 120 days

Upon completion of these conditions, the DUI charge is dismissed and can be removed from the person’s record.

Can a DUI Be Expunged in Mississippi?

Expunction (a.k.a. “expungement”) will be available for DUIs in Mississippi as of October 1, 2014. In¬†the past, a person could not remove a DUI from their criminal record. To qualify for expungement, specific requirements must be met.

  • First, at least five (5) years must have passed since the person completed all terms and conditions of their DUI sentence.
  • Second, the person cannot have refused to submit to a blood or breath test when stopped for the DUI.
  • Third, if test results are available from the blood or breath test, the person’s BAC cannot have been higher than 0.16%.
  • Fourth, the person cannot have any other DUI conviction or pending DUI charge.
  • Finally, the person must provide the judge with why the conviction should be expunged.

Several other very important changes, in addition to the ones listed above, are also included. I’ll post more about the new DUI laws soon.

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