The crime of driving under the influence in Mississippi is found in Title 63-11-30 of the Mississippi Code. It says that it is unlawful for any person to drive or otherwise operate a vehicle within this state who
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- (a) is under the influence of intoxicating liquor;
- (b) is under the influence of any other substance which has impaired such person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle; or
- (c) has an alcohol concentration of eight one-hundredths percent (.08%) or more for persons who are above the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages under state law.
So you can be either “under the influence” or have an alcohol concentration of .08 or greater (or both).
“Under the influence” is simply an opinion. It usually comes from the police officer’s observation of the driver. It can be based on how the driver stood, spoke, and performed on the field sobriety test. It is very controversial, because it’s nothing more than the officer’s conclusions about what he or she saw. That’s very important to understand: it’s just a conclusion.
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But there could be other factors at work:
- Perhaps you have a medical issue.
- Perhaps the officer didn’t instruct you right on the field sobriety tests.
These factors can lead a policeman (or anyone else) to incorrectly believe that you were under the influence. Just because the officer said it doesn’t make it true, and doesn’t mean that it will be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. You can challenge that. The government may assume you’re guilty, but that doesn’t mean you should.
Fighting the evidence will take some work, and the first step is to contact a Southaven DUI lawyer. Patrick Stegall can review your case to see if any mistakes were made by the police, and if the facts show that you were truly innocent. Please call him at (901) 205-9894 or send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.