How much did you drink last night? Did you try to drive home? Was that your first OWI/DUI/DWI, or have you had a few other run-ins with the law after drinking and driving, even in another state? In Mississippi, like all other states, drinking and driving serious crime, and if you keep driving while intoxicated, your penalties increase with each conviction. Mississippi, however, takes it a step further, and if you’ve been convicted of a drunk driving offense in any other state, your total number of DWIs just got bigger.
Mississippi counts any prior, out-of-state DWI, DUI or other drunk driving convictions you have received within five years, including the one that now has you in court. As such, your penalties will be much higher, because of your habitual DWI offender status. You’ll have bigger fines and court costs, possibly more community service or jail time to face, and your vehicle could be impounded. You will also have a much longer commitment to your car breathalyzer or ignition interlock device, if you intend to keep driving. That “vacation” DUI you got in another state just came back to haunt you, and this is your chance to make better choices before more trouble heads your way.
Most states in the U.S. share information about drunk driving convictions and other traffic violations as a safety precaution. However, not all states will count an out-of-state DWI in your final tally of drunk driving convictions. Mississippi takes any and all drunk driving incidents seriously, and continues to improve the state’s approach to reducing and eliminating the number of drunk drivers on its roads. If that means your out-of-state DWI affects your Mississippi OWI sentence, there is nothing left for you to do but accept your mistakes, and make a commitment to never driving under the influence of alcohol in the future.