Getting a DUI Under 21
Even though in Mississippi you may be old enough to drive at the age of 16, the law says you are not old enough to purchase and/or possess alcohol until you are 21 years old. Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal at any age, but the consequences for driving under the influence, especially before your 21st birthday, can have significant negative impacts on many parts of your life and future for a very, very long time. Here’s what happens if you get a DUI while you’re under the age of 21 in the state of Mississippi.
- You lose your license. Mississippi employs both a zero tolerance and use/lose policy in order to deter people under 21 from drinking, especially while driving. This means if you’re caught with alcohol—the first time—you stand to lose your license for at least 90 days.
- You’ll have to shell out cash. First-time offenders with a BAC of under 0.08 will have to shell out a $250.00 fine. BAC above 0.08? You’ll be paying $1,000 instead. And, if you’re a college student, drug- and alcohol-related offenses can result in the loss of scholarship money. Ouch.
- You’ll have to go to school. If you can no longer afford your degree after your scholarship takes a hit, there’s school still required of you: you’ll end up having to take an alcohol safety program and a victim impact panel.
- You could go to jail. If you have a DUI with a recorded BAC of over 0.08, you’ll spend up to two days in jail, in addition to having to pay up to a grand for the offense.
- It’ll stay on your record. Want car insurance? Want to go to law school? Medical school? Graduate school? Work? DUIs show up in background checks, whether or not you personally disclose them.
Of course, driving under the influence has other huge consequences—you could kill or seriously harm yourself or another person. Driving under the influence is not only risky and dangerous, but it is selfish. With the availability of ride-sharing apps like Lyft and Uber, in addition to Don’t do it.
But suppose you do anyway?
Contact Andrew Sorrentino for legal advice. We all make mistakes, especially when we’re young. But if we’re lucky, and with a little help, they don’t have to become the end of the world.