A first-offense Mississippi DUI doesn’t mean you’ll never drive your own vehicle again. While it is true that in most states a first-offense DUI will result in the suspension of your driving privileges, Mississippi allows offenders the opportunity to apply for a hardship license or restricted driver’s license as long as you meet your state’s criteria.
63-11-30. Operation under influence of alcohol or other impairing substance
(1) It is unlawful for any person to drive or otherwise operate a vehicle within this state who (a) is under the influence of intoxicating liquor;
You could be eligible for a restricted license after a Mississippi DUI if you:
- Serve the term of your license suspension or jail time as ordered by the court.
- Complete the Mississippi Alcohol Education Program (MASEP).
- Provide proof of insurance (SR-22).
- Pay all court-ordered fees and fines.
- Provide proof of your ignition interlock installation.
An ignition interlock device ensures that you will not repeat your Mississippi DUI mistake. By providing a breath sample before you start your car, and periodic rolling re-tests while the vehicle is in motion, you are able to resume an independent life while providing the court proof of your commitment to remaining sober while driving.
Once you satisfy the requirements for a Mississippi hardship license, you can petition the court to have your privileges reinstated, provided you have a reason to keep driving. Acceptable reasons include your employment status, family or health care matters. Once approved, you will be given the freedom to drive legally again, as long as you use and maintain your ignition interlock device as ordered.
Mississippi isn’t the only state that allows some DUI offenders the ability to keep driving, as long as there is an ignition interlock device installed. Ignition interlock expansion is happening across the country, allowing more offenders a better outcome after a DUI while ensuring that the streets remain safe from any bad decisions made under the influence of alcohol.