Over the holiday weekend, law enforcement officers with the Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) made 20 DUI arrests in the Metro area. Statewide, there were 203 DUI arrests by the MHP. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the MHP started their holiday operational hours from Thursday evening to Sunday. It's not uncommon for local and state law enforcement authorities to step up their efforts to catch suspected drunk drivers over holiday weekends. The total number of DUI arrests in Jackson and statewide is unknown, because these numbers don't reflect arrests made by local law enforcement authorities.
Need to Know: DUI in Mississippi
In Mississippi, it is illegal for drivers to be under the influence of alcohol while they're behind the wheel or while having a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or higher. Read that again, because it does not say "driving drunk." And if there is not a breath test, the officer can still charge a driver with driving under the influence of intoxicating beverages or under the influence of some other substance. For drivers under the age of 21, a BAC of .02% or more is illegal, and for commercial drivers, a BAC of .04% or more is illegal. If your or a loved one has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, you need to contact a skilled DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. The negative effects of a DUI conviction can follow you for years to come.
What if I Refuse the Breath Test?
If you refuse a breath test, you will have to go through a breath test refusal hearing. In this hearing, the State will have to prove their case by a "preponderance of the evidence," which basically means "more likely than not." This hearing allows your attorney a chance to cross-examine the arresting officer, which can be incredibly helpful, especially if you feel like he or she didn't have probable cause to stop your vehicle. Your license will be suspended for a period of time, but you will be issued a temporary license which will be valid for 45 days.
Going to Trial
The initial DUI trial will be held in either a Justice Court or a Municipal Court. Of course, the top priority is getting you cleared of all charges, but in the event of a guilty verdict, the next step is an appeal. You will be able to appeal the conviction to County Court or Circuit Court, depending on where you've been convicted. The most important thing you can do for your case is speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney.
The attorneys at Coxwell & Associates don't want to handle every DUI. Rather, they are the attorneys for professionals like doctors, lawyers, businessmen, students, and other people who must have their driver's license. The attorneys have a proven record of success, it is not empty talk. If you have a DUi problem call to discuss your problem with one of the attorneys. You will receive straightforward and honest advice.