In Mississippi, if you are stopped because you appear to be drunk while driving, you have plenty of challenges ahead of you. During that traffic stop, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, or if you refuse the breathalyzer, the police officer will immediately suspend your license on behalf of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. This “ALR Procedure” is an “administrative license revocation,” a public policy that 42 states currently use in order to have the authority to stop a drunk driver from re-offending even before they get into a courtroom.
If your license is suspended as an ALR procedure, you will be given a grace period to contest your suspension with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. That gives you 10 days to get your affairs in order, consult an attorney and find out all of your legal rights. If you choose not to contest the suspension, on the 11th day after your arrest, your license will be fully suspended for 90 days. However, after 30 days of your full suspension, you can install an ignition interlock device and resume driving with a restricted license. Remember, however, that you will still have a judicial hearing, and that both cases can have different consequences for your situation.
Even with the best of intentions, we all make mistakes and can misjudge how much alcohol we’ve had to drink. Since Mississippi and a majority of other states are allowing their agencies that control driver’s licenses to take the first step in any drunk driving conviction or incident, there is little room for anyone to misjudge their BAC or have “one for the road.” Your best bet, if you’ve been drinking, is to find a safe and sober ride home… and everyone on that road will be grateful you did.