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Mississippi's DUI laws don't stop all drunk drivers

In recent years, Mississippi has increased its criminal penalties for drunk driving. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level in our state and throughout the country is .08 percent.

However, some Mississippi drivers can be arrested for DUI with a considerably lower BAC level. For example, if someone is driving as though they are drunk or impaired (for example, swerving, floating between lanes or speeding) and/or if they perform badly in roadside field sobriety tests, they may be taken into custody regardless of what BAC level they register on a Breathalyzer.

There are also some classes of drivers for whom the legal BAC limit is under .08 percent. For example, minors (those under 21) can face DUI charges if they are driving with a BAC of .02 percent. They are also subject to penalties for underage drinking. For drivers who have a commercial driver's license (CDL), the legal limit is .04 percent.

A driver's BAC level can determine the severity of their penalties. People with a BAC of well above the legal limit could face added jail time and may have to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on their vehicle to get their driver's license back.

Unfortunately, no laws or penalties will stop some people from getting behind the wheel when they're in no condition to drive. If you or a loved one is injured or worse by a drunk driver, you have the right to take civil legal action regardless of the outcome of any criminal action taken by the state. This can help you seek compensation for medical bills, burial costs, lost wages and more.

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