Mississippi DUI Laws and Penalties in 2024

Drink and drive laws in Mississippi

In Mississippi, the maximum permissible blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is set at 0.08%, equivalent to 80 milliliters of alcohol in every 100 milliliters of blood.

Before we continue discussing impaired driving laws in Mississippi, it is essential to note that the purpose of this article is to spread awareness about Mississippi’s drunk driving laws. This website does not endorse or promote impaired driving in any state or region.

What is the legal alcohol limit for driving in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, the legal alcohol limit for driving varies depending on the driver’s category to ensure safety on the roads. These limits are set to regulate the amount of alcohol a driver can legally have in their bloodstream while operating a vehicle. Here’s how these limits are defined for different categories of drivers:

  • Regular Drivers: The legal limit is 0.08% BAC (Blood Alcohol Content), which means 80 milliliters of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.
  • Commercial Drivers: Individuals holding a commercial driver’s license are held to a stricter standard, with a legal limit of 0.04% BAC.
  • Minors (Under 21): For drivers under the age of 21, Mississippi enforces a zero-tolerance policy. It is illegal for these young drivers to operate a vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.

Drink and Drive Penalties and Punishments in Mississippi

Mississippi enforces stringent penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) to deter impaired driving and ensure road safety. These penalties, designed to reflect the seriousness of the offense, vary based on the number of convictions and specific circumstances surrounding each case. It is crucial for drivers to be aware of these legal consequences and consider the long-term impact of DUI offenses on their driving privileges and legal record.

Suspensions Subsequent to Conviction:

  • DUI, 1st Offense: A first-time DUI conviction leads to a 120-day suspension of a Class R license unless a court orders an ignition interlock-restricted license. Offenders must complete the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program (MASEP) and provide proof of insurance for three years. For continuous driving privileges, the court may mandate an ignition interlock device under §63-11-31.
  • Commercial Drivers: A first violation for commercial drivers with a BAC of 0.04% or more results in a one-year disqualification from operating commercial vehicles. The suspension and conviction processes are based on the active license status recorded by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety at the time of the offense.
  • DUI, 2nd Offense: A second DUI conviction within five years leads to a one-year suspension of a Class R license, unless a court-approved ignition interlock license is obtained.
  • DUI, 3rd Offense: A third conviction within five years is classified as a felony, resulting in the suspension of the Class R license for the duration of the sentence. Post-incarceration, only an interlock-restricted license is available for three years.
  • DUI, 4th or Subsequent Offense: Any further DUI convictions classify as felonies, suspending the Class R license for the sentence’s entirety. After release, an interlock-restricted license becomes mandatory for ten years.

Suspension Start Times:

Suspensions commence 45 days after the suspension’s basis is recorded on the driver’s DPS record.


Drivers appealing a municipal or justice court’s judgment must submit a “Notice of Appeal” to DPS within 30 days of conviction.

CDL Down-Grade to Class R License:

Suspended CDL holders due to DUI or related offenses cannot hold a valid CDL during suspension. They may opt to downgrade to a Class R license, with the suspension period continuing for the CDL.

Ignition Interlock-Restricted Licenses:

Courts can mandate an ignition interlock device for any vehicle driven by the convicted individual. To obtain an ignition interlock-restricted license, the offender must prove the device’s installation and operation on all vehicles they drive. This license is subject to all legal driving restrictions, in addition to the interlock device requirement.

Given the complexity and updates in DUI-related laws, individuals are encouraged to frequently consult the official state website of Mississippi for the most current information and legal guidelines.

How Can I Calculate if My Alcohol Blood Limit is Legal in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, law enforcement officials use breathalyzer tests and blood tests to determine a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level. These methods are considered reliable ways to measure the concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream and help enforce DUI laws effectively.

For individuals concerned about their BAC levels and aiming to ensure they are within legal limits, there are two recommended approaches to assess your BAC:

  1. Utilize a High-Quality Alcohol Breathalyzer: For personal use, a reliable and accurate breathalyzer is an invaluable tool. Based on extensive experience, the BACtrack S80 is highly recommended. It is known for its professional-grade accuracy and has received endorsements, being DOT & NHTSA Approved as well as FDA 510(k) Cleared. Keeping a device like the BACtrack S80 in your vehicle can serve as a critical check, especially since it’s easy for individuals to misjudge their own BAC levels. This device can significantly aid in preventing impaired driving by offering a tangible measure of one’s alcohol level.
  2. Use a Professional BAC Calculator: Developed in collaboration with phlebologists and skilled web developers, this BAC calculator is an additional resource designed to estimate your BAC based on various inputs such as the amount of alcohol consumed, the time frame of consumption, weight, and gender. Although not as immediate as a breathalyzer, this tool provides an approximation that can help guide your decisions regarding driving after consuming alcohol.

It’s important to remember that both these methods, while helpful, do not guarantee 100% accuracy in determining your BAC level. Factors such as metabolism, food intake, and individual health conditions can affect the results. Therefore, these tools should be used as guides rather than definitive measures. If in doubt, the safest choice is not to drive. Utilizing these tools can help you make informed decisions and potentially prevent the risks associated with drunk driving, keeping both you and others on the road safer.

Ways to Avoid Driving with a High BAC in Mississippi

Drink beer and drive in Mississippi

Driving with a high Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) not only poses a significant risk to your safety but also to the safety of others on the road. Fortunately, there are several responsible alternatives to driving under the influence in Mississippi that can help ensure you and everyone else stays safe.

  1. Utilize Ride-Sharing Apps or Local Taxi Services: One of the most straightforward ways to avoid driving after drinking is to use ride-sharing apps such as Uber or Lyft. These apps are widely available and can provide a safe and convenient way to get home. Additionally, for those who prefer traditional taxi services, Mississippi offers several options. In Jackson, consider using Deluxe Cab Co, and in Gulfport, Gulf Coast Value Cab is a reliable choice. These services can be easily contacted for a safe ride home, eliminating the risk of driving under the influence.
  2. Order a Designated Driver Service: If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve driven to a location and consumed alcohol, leaving your car behind might not feel like an option. However, designated driver services offer a solution. These services provide a driver who can safely drive you and your car home. In Jackson, AssistAnt Chauffeur Service offers such services, and in Gulfport, Airport Casino Military Taxi can be contacted. Simply searching for “designated driver service” along with your city name in search engines will provide you with options available in your area.

These alternatives not only help in avoiding legal issues associated with DUI but also contribute to the safety and well-being of all road users. It’s always better to plan ahead and consider how you’ll get home safely after drinking. By choosing a ride-sharing app, a local taxi service, or a designated driver service, you’re making a responsible decision that ensures you end your night safely without compromising on the fun or your safety.


Sticking to DUI Laws in Mississippi: Sad Statistics

Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal in Mississippi, where in 2020, there were 752 alcohol-related accidents, 21% of which involved drivers over the legal BAC limit of 0.08%. To prevent DUI incidents, it’s crucial to monitor your BAC levels, using tools like alcohol breathalyzers for accuracy.

Opting for a taxi, Uber, or designated driver service is a safer alternative to driving after drinking. Stay informed on DUI laws by visiting the Mississippi Driver Service Bureau’s website.

Misunderstanding alcohol’s impact on driving safety can lead to risky behaviors. It’s essential to recognize the dangers of DUI and seek alternatives to driving when intoxicated. Even small amounts of alcohol can impair your ability to drive safely. Always check your BAC if you plan to drive after consuming alcohol, and consider other transportation options if in doubt.

About the author

Ashley Cresswell

Ashley Cresswell is a former phlebotomist with a passion for road safety. During her time as a phlebotomist, Ashley administered over 1000 blood alcohol tests to impaired drivers and was shocked to discover that many of them were simply uninformed about the legal limits for driving under the influence. As a result, Ashley conducted extensive research on scientific studies and local laws to bring drivers a comprehensive resource on drink and drive limits from around the world.