Unconventional DUI Offenses in Mississippi

Posted by James Ferguson | Jan 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

DUI involves driving a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance. However, law enforcement officers are responsible for detecting other kinds of DUI offenses that place others at risk of injury or death. Lesser-known DUI offenses include parked car DUI, drunk while boating, and ATV DUI. The primary goal of DUI laws is to deter all types of motorists from operating all types of vehicles that can cause damage or harm when handled carelessly. The following are some unconventional types of DUI offenses that people might be charged with in Mississippi.

Boating While Under the Influence

Under the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Act, it is illegal to operate a watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Mississippi defines watercraft as a “motorized vessel with a motor of 25 horsepower or greater used for transportation on public waters.” It further defines “public waters” to mean “all public waters over which the state has jurisdiction.” If a watercraft running on public waters, it is said to be in operation, and the person who has set the watercraft underway is subject to inspection by local police and other water-stationed law enforcement officials. Like DUI law, BUI law also requires a blood alcohol content for a charge to apply. The law, however, permits law enforcement to assess the behavior of the boater, as well. A person is guilty of boating under the influence if there is “impaired thought and action and loss of normal control of a person's faculties to such an extent as to endanger any person.” The second portion of the provision states that a person is also guilty of a BUI if he or she has a BAC over the legal threshold of .08%. Having a BAC of .08% or greater is also a crime under Mississippi's DUI law.

ATV (all-terrain vehicle) DUI Offenses

In Mississippi, by statute, ATVs are defined as any motorized vehicle manufactured and designed exclusively for off-road uses that is 50 inches or less in width and has an unladen dry weight of 600 pounds or less. The vehicle must travel on three or more low-pressure tires and have a seat designed by the operator with the use of handlebars for steering the vehicle.

ATVs are regulated by Mississippi state law. The law prohibits ATVs to be operated on public property unless the person possesses a driver's license or has a certificate to operate the vehicle. Each person under the age of 16 years old who is operating an ATV must wear a crash helmet that complies with minimum guidelines. This is required before a driver can operate the ATV on any public property. Any violation of these requirements is punishable by fine. The state requires ATV drivers to take a safety course approved by the Department of Public Safety before obtaining a certificate to operate the vehicle. Given that ATVs are motorized and pose a possible danger to the public, operators who are caught operating an ATV while under the influence are subject to the Mississippi DUI laws.

Parked Car DUI

A parked car DUI occurs when a defendant is found legally intoxicated while behind the wheel of a motionless, or parked, vehicle. The situations that can lead to this type of charge present complexities in certain jurisdictions where the threshold for a DUI charge hinges on whether the key was in the ignition. Although state laws vary as to whether it is a crime to be intoxicated while behind the wheel of a parked vehicle, the law in many states, including Mississippi, is clear. Mississippi law views the parked car DUI as chargeable offense.

Your DUI Attorney
Attorney James Robert Ferguson is a seasoned DUI attorney with experience working with lesser-known DUI crimes. Contact us to determine the implications of your DUI charge. We will provide a unique approach to help you defend against your charges. Call us now for a consultation.

See related blog posts:
Boating Under the Influence in Mississippi
Mississippi’s Application of DUI Law to All Terrain Vehicle Operators

About the Author

James Ferguson

I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. During college, I studied at East Tennessee State University, where I received a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice, which I then followed up with a Master's in Criminology from the University of Memphis. Before beginning my legal career, I worked as a Project Coordinator at the University of Memphis, where I assisted in training law enforcement officers in the Memphis Model of Crisis Intervention Training. The purpose of the project was to provide officers with the tools to deal with citizens in a state of mental crisis. I then went on to study law at the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson. During law school, I clerked with Victor W. Carmody, Jr., the lawyer who wrote the book on DUI law in Mississippi. I am currently licensed to practice law in both Tennessee and Mississippi, and spend a majority of my time traveling the highways and biways of Mississippi defending those who have been charged with a DUI.


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