Normally, Florida headlines win the “crazy people” contest, especially when it comes to drinking and driving. Keep in mind that a headline is only news because the law has been broken. But, every state must have its moment in the spotlight. Like Mississippi, for example. Even with increased penalties for DUI in the last few years, and an expansion of the state’s ignition interlock program, there is one thing that Mississippi may have missed:
That Mississippi has little to say about people drinking and driving WHILE behind the wheel.
Drinking and driving is dangerous, which is why there are DUI and similar laws in all 50 states. Most of the time, a DUI is what happens AFTER a person has finished an alcoholic beverage and is behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. But, Mississippi law is a little different, and a person can legally drink that same beverage while driving, as long as their BAC does not cross the .08 percent threshold.
Of course, law enforcement has ways around this. A person who has a “buzzed” BAC of .05-.06 percent could technically still be arrested and charged with a DUI, even if they don’t meet the legal definition of a DUI. The danger that is posed by a person who is clearly driving under the influence is the biggest reason to remove them from the road, and if they are acting like they’re legally drunk, it can all get sorted out down at the station. But, still, the law can lead to obviously “crazy” headlines that have us all shaking our heads.
Even if you can legally drink and drive in Mississippi, you do not have to be that person. Keep in mind the difference between a .06 BAC and .08 BAC could be as little as whatever is left in that bottle of beer you are trying to finish, and that just because something is legal, common sense should always prevail. Drinking and driving is dangerous. Drinking WHILE driving is even worse. Don’t be that person, and leave the headline news in Florida.