Across the U.S., every person who applies for a driver’s license agrees to some type of implied consent laws. Mississippi implied consent laws, for example, say that if you are arrested due to a suspected DUI, you are obligated to provide a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) sample to law enforcement. If you refuse BAC testing, you are subject to additional penalties for your implied consent violation on top of any penalties for a DUI conviction.
Penalties for violating Mississippi implied consent laws start with a 90-day driver’s license suspension for a first-time violation. From there, you could face a longer license suspension for any additional implied consent violations, up to an additional year in many cases. With a suspended license, you may only drive legally if you are found eligible for an ignition interlock device.
Even though Mississippi implied consent policies do not factor into any criminal or administrative (DMV) penalties, that does not mean a DUI suspect should refuse BAC testing before an arrest occurs. Most of the time, any type of sobriety testing refusal during a traffic stop or at a sobriety checkpoint can result in probable cause for an arrest. Refusing a BAC test will not allow a person’s body enough time to eliminate alcohol before the test that occurs after an arrest, either. Basically, refusing a test seems to be the worst possible response to a DUI traffic stop.
Instead, if you know you will be drinking and want to avoid Mississippi implied consent and DUI consequences all together, just do not drive. If you are in a situation where you are questioning your ability to drive safely after drinking, just call a friend or a taxi for a safe ride home. You made an agreement when you got your license, and that goes beyond the implied consent laws. You agreed to be a safe driver… so stick to the plan you signed up for all of those years ago.