Legal Limits For A DUI


06.06.2017 IN: DUI Defense

What Are The Legal Limits For A DUI In Mississippi?

Joey: That’s actually a complex question, because for your average person, just going to and from work with a normal driver’s license in Mississippi, the blood alcohol content’s what we’re looking at here, the BAC. In Mississippi for your normal person, it’d be a .08. However, if you are a commercial truck driver, it falls to a .04 blood alcohol content. Mississippi also has a zero tolerance policy for minors, which for them takes it down to .02, and that’s anybody under the age of 21.

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Can The Test Be Wrong?

Joey:  Absolutely. These machines are just that, machines. They’re prone to break, and they’re prone to failure, and they are operated by humans. Human error kicks in quite often. The big Intoxilyzers are supposed to be self-calibrating. But, I’ve seen issues where they couldn’t calibrate, and because they couldn’t calibrate, they couldn’t prove somebody was intoxicated.

The first test an individual will be given when they’re pulled over is called a portable breath test. It’s a little machine that rides around in the back of the officer’s car, bounces around all day. Those aren’t admissible into evidence. We’re not even looking at those, we are looking at what the Intoxilyzer says for the purposes of proving a DUI in Mississippi.

If I Tell An Officer I’ve Only Had A Few Beers, Will This Help?

Joey: That’s the worst thing that an individual can do. The Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution grants you the right to remain silent. I highly recommend clients use that right. I know they catch a little bit of grief sometimes from the officer. All-the-same, you have the right to remain silent so exercise it. By admitting you’ve had drinks, you’re giving the officer probable cause to proceed further. Do not admit to drinking, not even one or two. If the officer asks if you’ve been drinking, exercise your right to remain silent. That’s my advice every time and I’m a DUI Lawyer Brandon MS.

Can I Drink Any Amount Of Alcohol And Still Drive?

Joey: Again, it goes back to the age and the license issue we talked about in the first question. Your average Joe who drives a normal vehicle with a normal driver’s license, .08 is the blood alcohol content that we’re looking for there. Yes, they can technically have a beer and it is not illegal to have a beer and drive. What is illegal, is to have a beer, and be impaired and operate an automobile, or to have an amount of alcohol that will take you over the legal limit.

.08 for most people might be upwards of two drinks, depending on their weight, and size, and things like that. When we look at the commercial truck driver with a .04 limit, you’re looking at one drink being the absolute most and even then, I think they’re probably pushing it. Certainly a minor, one drink would put them over the .02, and that’s somebody under the age of 21. College kids at Ole Miss, State, at Southern, one drink would put them over, and it would be illegal for them.

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They’re Not Supposed To Be Drinking Anyhow, So They Have A Drink And Drive, They’re In Trouble, Huh?

Joey: That’s right. Drinking and driving doesn’t make sense in this modern time as police have roadblocks and portable breath tests. They have more accurate machines and will give field sobriety tests. The smell of alcohol on an individual will give them probable cause to look further. If you’ve been around anyone that’s drinking, even just a drink or two, you possibly can smell alcohol if you’re within a foot or two of them. Think how close an officer is when they ask you to roll down your window when they pull you over. That’s a risk people run, and it’s a big risk. However, strictly speaking, having a drink and driving is not illegal.

Call Attorney Joey Franks for a free consultation at (601) 283-2343

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