Even though the national legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for a DUI is at .08 percent, most drunk driving laws and consequences vary across the U.S. For example, some states require a DUI offender to enter into programs for education or substance abuse reasons. Other states, like Mississippi, also require any drunk driving offender to install and maintain a car breathalyzer (ignition interlock device, or IID). There are also consequences for refusing a Mississippi BAC test when stopped by law enforcement, making the state one of the toughest in the nations when it comes to drunk drivers.
Too many people think that refusing a Mississippi BAC test will help keep them out of DUI trouble. While that may have been the case many years ago, more and more states are adopting no refusal policies for BAC tests. That means that when you go to apply for your driver’s license, or renew it, that you agree at that time to take a BAC test. When law enforcement pulls you over and requests you blow into the breathalyzer, you do have the right to refuse, but the state’s implied consent laws say that your refusal will lead to a guaranteed ignition interlock requirement. Plus, that refusal is enough probable cause to investigate you further, and likely will trigger an arrest and then a warrant for a BAC sample (blood, breath or urine).
Obviously, nobody wants to end up with a DUI conviction or an ignition interlock requirement. So, before you get to the point where you think that refusing a Mississippi BAC test is a good idea, perhaps having a plan to get home safely is your best way to avoid those problems to begin with. After all, Mississippi is tough on drunk drivers, but has plenty of ways to increase the penalties and consequences to keep the streets safe.