My first advice is to not drink and drive. The same applies to use of narcotics. It may or may not be to your advantage to take a breath test. If possible, you should consult with an attorney before you agree to take a test.

In Mississippi, if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more, you are considered to be driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). You can also be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. A drunk driving conviction will result in significant fines and suspension of your driver's license, and you could be sentenced to jail time. A DUI conviction stays on your driving record forever. If you are arrested again at a later date, you face even greater penalties.

Failure to take a test results in loss of license unless a court finds there was no basis to require you to take it.

Drunk Driving Charges Need To Be Taken Seriously

Take every drunk driving charge seriously. You have a limited amount of time to save your driver's license and your driving record. Call an experienced Tupelo, Mississippi, DUI/DWI defense attorney immediately.

I am criminal defense lawyer Gene Barton. From my Okolona law office, I have been defending people against drunk driving charges for more than 40 years. When you need a strong legal defense, call my office at 662-260-6646 or contact me online for a free initial consultation. Please note that I cannot defend cases in counties in the 3rd Circuit Court District because I am a prosecutor there. I can handle cases in any other county in Mississippi.

I Handle All DUI-Related Issues

To learn more about my practice and DUI-related issues, see:

Potential DUI Defenses

Don't assume that because you were pulled over and failed the field sobriety test, or blew a .08 on the Breathalyzer, that you don't have a defense. There are a number of issues that an experienced DUI defense lawyer will investigate. For example:

Illegal stop of person or vehicle: In Mississippi, a driver cannot be stopped unless the officer has a reasonable and articulate basis to believe that a traffic law or other law has been violated. Similarly, a person cannot be seized unless a violation has occurred.

Anonymous report of drunk driving: In Mississippi, a car cannot be stopped simply because an anonymous citizen reported that the driver was drunk.

Booking room videos: Many police stations video suspects at the police station where their speech is clear and their balance is perfect, despite police testimony to the contrary.

Police blood test inaccurate: Many times, police blood testing fails to follow prescribed rules of testing, analysis or preservation recommendations.

Breath test operator is unlicensed or possesses an expired license: Most states require a breath test operator to possess a valid, unexpired operator's license, or the breath test result is inadmissible.

Breathalyzer machine malfunctions: Most states specify that if there is a malfunction or repair of the breath test instrument within a certain period of time prior to or after a suspect's breath test, the results of the suspect's test are presumed invalid.

Portable breath test inadmissible: Most states prohibit the use of portable breath testing results as evidence at trial of a DUI case.

Failure to conduct observation period: Most states require that a driver be observed continuously for a minimum period of time, such as 20 minutes, prior to the administration of a breath test in order for the results to be considered valid and admissible.

Medical problems: Medical problems with various parts of the body can affect the results of field sobriety tests. Further, medical conditions can also affect the validity of Breathalyzer results.

Bad weather: Weather conditions can have an adverse effect on a person's driving abilities and could help explain poor driving and even a person's poor balance during a field sobriety test.

Lack of probable cause: The police must have specific, articulable reasons to support an arrest for DUI, or the suspension will be reversed and the evidence suppressed at trial.

Illegal search: Police are prohibited from searching a person or the vehicle for a minor traffic offense, and must have consent or probable cause before searching a person's automobile. Any evidence illegally obtained is inadmissible in court.

Post-driving absorption of alcohol: The prosecution must prove the blood alcohol level or breath alcohol at the time of driving.

Interfering substances: Many items contain forms of alcohol that can contribute to false positive results.

An Attorney With Understanding And Compassion

I don't judge my clients charged with DUI. I warn people not to drink and drive. People from all walks of life have been charged with drunk driving. Even some of the most upstanding community members can make mistakes.

The important thing is to get you the best outcome possible. I fight like a bulldog for my clients, because I believe you deserve a fair trial and fierce representation regardless of the criminal charges you are facing. I try to prevent you from losing your license and receiving increased insurance premiums, and we want to save your good reputation. I have had a great deal of experience working with alcoholics and drug addicts. If you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, I encourage you to consider an alcohol or drug treatment program.

Consequences Of A Drunk Driving Conviction In Mississippi

When you are charged with DUI in Mississippi, the severity of the sentence depends on how many times you have been convicted of the crime:

First-offense DUI/DWI: Two days in jail, up to $1,000 in fines and license suspension of up to one year

Second-offense DUI: A minimum of $600 and a maximum of $1,500 in fines, five days to a year in jail, and license suspension of up to two years

Third-offense DUI/DWI (a felony DUI): Up to $5,000 in fines, a mandatory one-year prison sentence (with a maximum sentence of five years), and a two-year license suspension

If you are a minor or have a commercial driver's license (CDL), the blood alcohol level is lower and the consequences more severe.

Contact A Mississippi Lawyer If You Have Faced A DUI Arrest

I care about your needs, and I will fight like a bulldog for your interests. Contact my law firm online or call 662-260-6646 after your Mississippi DUI arrest to speak to a Fulton DUI/DWI defense attorney.

Note: I cannot defend cases in counties where I am a prosecutor, in the 3rd Circuit Court District (Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Lafayette, Marshall, Tippah and Union counties). I can defend cases in all other counties in the state jurisdiction, including Tupelo-area counties such as Lee, Pontotoc, Monroe, Itawamba, Prentiss, Alcorn and Tishomingo counties and anywhere else in Mississippi, as well as in federal court.