Semi-truck drivers often put long hours on the road, but the work can be enjoyable and can be a good way to provide for your family. To operate a semi-truck in Mississippi, you need to have a commercial driver’s license. So, what happens if a semi-truck driver is accused of a drunk driving crime?
What is drunk driving under Mississippi law?
Mississippi law recognizes several types of drunk driving offenses. One, which most people are aware of, is if a driver has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% and is over the “legal limit,” then that driver could be charged with DUI. However, this threshold is lower in certain circumstances. A person can be charged with “common law” DUI if they are driving under the influence of alcohol, even if their BAC is below the legal limit. If a person is under age 21, then the legal limit is reduced to 0.02% And, if a person is operating a commercial motor vehicle, then the legal limit is reduced to 0.04%.
What must the prosecution to prove in order to convict a person of DUI?
It may seem like if a person charged with DUI with a BAC of 0.08% it is an open and shut case. Actually, it is not. There are elements the prosecution must prove for any type of drunk driving offense.
For example, if a truck driver is charged with DUI with a BAC of 0.04% the prosecution has the burden of proving the testing instrument was accurate, that the instrument’s operator was certified and that all proper procedures were followed when the test was administered. The same elements must be shown if a driver over age 21 has a BAC of 0.08% or a person under age 21 has a BAC of 0.02%.
In the case of a “common law” DUI, generally a BAC test was not administered, or its results were deemed inadmissible for some reason. In this case, the prosecution bears the burden of proving that the driver was impaired, meaning that they were driving in a way that lessened their ability for clarity and control due to intoxication.
Learn more about DUI in Mississippi
If a truck driver receives a DUI, their CDL license will be suspended for one year. Naturally, this is a consequence most want to avoid. Therefore, it is important to work with a professional in such cases. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on DUI may be a good resource for those who want to learn more about this topic.