Transcript of Episode 004 “Ask a Lawyer with Joey Franks” – Legal Limits for a DUI in Mississippi

What are the Legal Limits?

Attorney Franks: For a normal driver’s license, it’s .08. For a commercial truck driver, it plummets to .04 blood alcohol content. Mississippi has zero tolerance for minors under 21. So, it goes down to .02 for them.

Can the test be wrong?

Attorney Franks: Sure. These machines break down, they can fail, and there’s human error involved. The Intoxilyzers are supposed to calibrate on their own. But, sometimes they don’t, and because of that, they did not prove somebody is intoxicated.

When you’re pulled over, the first test you’re given is called a portable breath test. It’s a small machine that’s housed in the cop’s car and it bounces around many times during the course of a day. Funny thing is, those results cannot be admitted as evidence. They use the results from the Intoxilyzer machine to prove a DUI.

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Let’s say I tell the cop I only had two beers. Will that help my case?

Attorney Franks: That’s a terrible thing to do so don’t do it. The U.S. Constitution’s fifth amendment provides you with the right to remain silent. If you ever get pulled over, it’s very important that you use that right. The cop may give you some grief about it, but again, you have the right to remain silent. By all means, exercise that right. Otherwise, you’re telling the officer you’ve been drinking and you’re giving them probable cause to keep going. Never admit to drinking anything at all. If the cop asks, use your right to remain silent.

Can I drink any alcohol and still operate a motor vehicle?

Attorney Franks: It depends on the categories we talked about with the first question asked in this interview. Normal driver’s license is .08 as the blood alcohol content. So, yeah, a person could have a beer and not be illegal in regards to driving an automobile. But for a normal driver’s license in Mississippi, if you have more than that, you can be in trouble. .08 is probably two drinks, depending on height and weight.

Now, again, the commercial truck driver has .04 limit. You might be OK with one beer but I advise not taking that kind of risk. Anyone under the age of 21 is going to be .02 with just one beer. So, you college kids out there at Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss, don’t even have one drink and get behind the wheel of a car and drive on the roads.

They’re not supposed to be drinking anyhow.

Attorney Franks: Correct. Drinking and driving is really stupid in this current age. The cops put up roadblocks and carry around those portable breath tests. The machines they use to administer the field sobriety tests are getting more and more accurate. If you even faintly smell like booze, that will give the cops probable cause to continue. Heck, even if you have recently associated with anyone who’s been drinking at all, any amount of booze, you probably will smell like alcohol. The cop is very close to you when they request that you to roll down your window in a traffic stop.

That being said, if you get in trouble, I’m here to help as a DUI lawyer in Jackson MS.