Many of us think that driving while tipsy (below the illegal level of 0.08% BAC) is OK. But, is that right? Can you be arrested for driving while tipsy?
What is a DUI in Mississippi?
According to Mississippi Code, Section 63-11-30, it is unlawful for drivers to drive under the influence of any impairing substance. This includes being under the influence of an illegal controlled substance or having a BAC of 0.08% or more. Though, if you are under the age of 21, you can be found guilty of DUI with a BAC as low as 0.02%. If you are commercial motor vehicle operator, you can commit a DUI with a BAC of 0.04%.
Can I be arrested for driving while tipsy in Mississippi?
As you can likely tell from the information above, the answer is yes. If you show signs of impairment or fail your field sobriety test, you could be charged with a DUI. While a 0.08% BAC is illegal, impairment itself is also illegal. As such, if a police officer determines that you are impaired, you could be charged with a DUI, and if a court agrees, you could be convicted of a DUI.
What are the penalties for driving while tipsy in Mississippi?
The penalties depend on what precipitated the arrest itself. For example, factors include your BAC level, whether you failed a sobriety test, any prior DUI convictions, if you caused property damage or an injury, etc. Though, for a first-time offense, a DUI conviction brings a fine up to $1,000 and up to 2 days in jail. You may also face a 120-day driver’s license suspension, carry insurance for 3 years, and attend a victim impact panel or the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program.
You could face additional (enhanced) penalties if you refuse a chemical test. This includes a 90-day driver’s license suspension, which increases to 1 year, if you have a prior DUI conviction. If your BAC was higher than 0.15%, have minor children in the vehicle or severely harmed or killed someone, you would also face enhanced penalties. This is why it is so important to take DUI charges seriously and avoid even tipsy driving