Mississippi Law

SEC. 63-11-3. Definitions.

(a) "Driving privilege" or "privilege" means both the driver's license of those licensed in Mississippi and the driving privilege of unlicensed residents and the privilege of nonresidents, licensed or not, the purpose of this section being to make unlicensed and nonresident drivers subject to the same penalties as licensed residents.

(b) "Community service" means work, projects or services for the benefit of the community assigned, supervised and recorded by appropriate public officials.

(c) "Chemical test" means an analysis of a person's blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance for the determination of the presence of alcohol or any other substance which may impair a person's mental or physical ability.

(d) "Refusal to take breath, urine and/or blood test" means an individual declining to take a chemical test, and/or the failure to provide an adequate breath sample as required by the Implied Consent Law when requested by a law enforcement officer.

(e) "Alcohol concentration" means either grams of alcohol per one hundred (100) milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per two hundred ten (210) liters of breath.

(f) "Qualified person to withdraw blood" means any person who has been trained to withdraw blood in the course of their employment duties including but not limited to laboratory personnel, phlebotomist, emergency medical personnel, nurses and doctors.

(g) "Victim impact panel" means a two-hour seminar in which victims of DUI accidents relate their experiences following the accident to persons convicted under the Implied Consent Law. Paneling programs shall be based on a model developed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) victim panel or equivalent program approved by the court.

(h) "Booked" means the administrative step taken after the arrested person is brought to the police station, which involves entry of the person's name, the crime for which the arrest was made, and other relevant facts on the police docket, and which may also include photographing, fingerprinting, and the like.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-24; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 24; 1983, ch. 466, Sec. 1; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 3, eff from and after July 2, 1996

 

SEC. 63-11-5. Implied consent to chemical tests; administration of tests; warnings; form of traffic tickets, citations or affidavits; advice regarding right to request legal or medical assistance; rules and regulations.

(2) If the officer has reasonable grounds and probable cause to believe such person to have been driving a motor vehicle upon the public highways, public roads, and streets of this state while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, such officer shall inform such person that his failure to submit to such chemical test or tests of his breath shall result in the suspension of his privilege to operate a motor vehicle upon the public streets and highways of this state for a period of ninety (90) days in the event such person has not previously been convicted of a violation of Section 63-11-30, or, for a period of one (1) year in the event of any previous conviction of such person under Section 63-11-30.

(3) The traffic ticket, citation or affidavit issued to a person arrested for a violation of this chapter shall conform to the requirements of Section 63-9-21(3)(b).

(4) Any person arrested under the provisions of this chapter shall be informed that he has the right to telephone for the purpose of requesting legal or medical assistance immediately after being booked for a violation under this chapter.

(5) The Commissioner of Public Safety and the State Crime Laboratory created pursuant to Section 45-1-17 are hereby authorized from and after the passage of this section to adopt procedures, rules and regulations, applicable to the Implied Consent Law.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-09; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 9; 1981, ch. 491, Sec. 1; 1983, ch. 466, Sec. 2; 1988, ch. 568, Sec. 1; 1991, ch. 480, Sec. 4; 1991, ch. 577, Sec. 1; 1992, ch. 525, Sec. 1; 1993, ch. 354, Sec. 1; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 4, eff from and after July 2, 1996

 

SEC. 63-11-7. Authorization of blood test for dead or unconscious accident victims; use of test results.

If any person be unconscious or dead as a result of an accident, or unconscious at the time of arrest or apprehension or when the test is to be administered, or is otherwise in a condition rendering him incapable of refusal, such person shall be subjected to a blood test for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his blood as provided in this chapter, if the arresting officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person to have been driving a motor vehicle upon the public highways, public roads and streets of this state while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. The results of such test or tests, however, shall not be used in evidence against such person in any court or before any regulatory body without the consent of the person so tested, or, if deceased, such person's legal representative. However, refusal of release of evidence so obtained by such officer or agency will in criminal actions against such person result in the suspension of his or her driver's license for a period of ninety days as provided in this chapter for conscious and capable persons who have refused to submit to such test. Blood may only be withdrawn under the provisions of section 63-11-9. It is the intent of this chapter that blood samples taken under this section shall be used exclusively for statistical evaluation of accident causes with safeguards established to protect the identity of such victims and to extend the rights of privileged communications to those engaged in taking, handling and evaluating such statistical evidence.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-10; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 10, eff from and after April 1, 1972.

 

SEC. 63-11-8. Testing of motor vehicle operator involved in accident resulting in death.

(1) The operator of any motor vehicle involved in an accident that results in a death shall be tested for the purpose of determining the alcohol content or drug content of such operator's blood, breath or urine. Any blood withdrawal required by this section shall be administered by any qualified person and shall be administered within two (2) hours after such accident, if possible. The exact time of the accident, to the extent possible, and the exact time of the blood withdrawal shall be recorded.

(2) If any investigating law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is the operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident that has resulted in a death, it shall be such officer's duty to see that a chemical test is administered as required by this section.

(3) The results of a test administered pursuant to this section may be used as evidence in any court or administrative hearing without the consent of the person so tested.

(4) No person may refuse to submit to a chemical test required under the provisions of this section.

(5) Analysis of blood or urine to determine alcohol or drug content pursuant to this section shall be conducted by the Mississippi Crime Laboratory or a laboratory whose methods and procedures have been approved by the Mississippi Crime Laboratory.

SOURCES: Laws, 1995, ch. 540, Sec. 4; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 5, eff from and after July 2, 1996

 

SEC. 63-11-9. Administration of blood test under Sec. 63-11-7.

Under Section 63-11-7, any qualified person acting at the request of a law enforcement officer may withdraw blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content therein. This limitation shall not apply to the taking of breath or urine specimens.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-17; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 17; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 6, eff from and after July 2, 1996

 

SEC. 63-11-11. Taking of urine specimens.

If the test given under the provisions of this chapter is a chemical test of urine, the person tested shall be given such privacy in the taking of the urine specimen as will insure the accuracy of the specimen and, at the same time, maintain the dignity of the individual involved.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-19; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 19, eff from and after April 1, 1972.

 

SEC. 63-11-13. Right of accused to have test administered by person of his choice; effect of failure to obtain additional test.

The person tested may, at his own expense, have a physician, registered nurse, clinical laboratory technologist or clinical laboratory technician or any other qualified person of his choosing administer a test, approved by the state crime laboratory created pursuant to section 45-1-17, in addition to any other test, for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in his blood at the time alleged as shown by chemical analysis of his blood, breath or urine. The failure or inability to obtain an additional test by such arrested person shall not preclude the admissibility in evidence of the test taken at the direction of a law enforcement officer.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-18; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 18; 1981, ch. 491, Sec. 2, eff from and after July 1, 1981.

 

SEC. 63-11-15. Availability of information cocerning test directed by law enforcement officer to accused or his attorney.

Upon the written request of the person tested, or his attorney, full information concerning the test taken at the direction of the law enforcement officer shall be made available to him or to his attorney.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-20; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 20, eff from and after April 1, 1972.

 

SEC. 63-11-17. Liability for administering test or analysis.

No qualified person, hospital, clinic or funeral home shall incur any civil or criminal liability as the result of the proper administration of a test or chemical analysis of a person's breath, blood or urine when requested in writing by a law enforcement officer to administer such a test or perform such chemical analysis.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-21; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 21; 1973, ch. 354, Sec. 1; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 7, eff from and after July 2, 1996

 

SEC. 63-11-19. Performance; ensuring proper quality.

A chemical analysis of the person's breath, blood or urine, to be considered valid under the provisions of this section, shall have been performed according to methods approved by the State Crime Laboratory created pursuant to Section 45-1-17 and the Commissioner of Public Safety and performed by an individual possessing a valid permit issued by the State Crime Laboratory for making such analysis. The State Crime Laboratory and the Commissioner of Public Safety are authorized to approve satisfactory techniques or methods, to ascertain the qualifications and competence of individuals to conduct such analyses, and to issue permits which shall be subject to termination or revocation at the discretion of the State Crime Laboratory. The State Crime Laboratory shall not approve the permit required herein for any law enforcement officer other than a member of the State Highway Patrol, a sheriff or his deputies, a city policeman, an officer of a state-supported institution of higher learning campus police force, a security officer appointed and commissioned pursuant to the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Security Officer Law of 1978, a national park ranger, a national park ranger technician, a military policeman stationed at a United States military base located within this state other than a military policeman of the Army or Air National Guard or of Reserve Units of the Army, Air Force, Navy or Marine Corps, a marine law enforcement officer employed by the Department of  Marine Resources, or a conservation officer employed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. The permit given a conservation officer or a marine law enforcement officer shall authorize such officer to administer tests only for violations of Sections 59-23-1 through 59-23-7

The State Crime Laboratory shall make periodic, but not less frequently than quarterly, tests of the methods, machines or devices used in making chemical analysis of a person's breath as shall be necessary to ensure the accuracy thereof, and shall issue its certificate to verify the accuracy of the same.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-16; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 16; 1978, ch. 526, Sec. 1; 1981, ch. 491, Sec. 3; 1988, ch. 568, Sec. 2; 1991, ch. 577, Sec. 2; 1995, ch. 620, Sec. 5, eff from and after July 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 1999, Ch. 585, Sec. 6, SB2804, eff. July 1, 1999.

 

SEC. 63-11-21. Actions by law enforcement officer upon refusal of driver to submit to test generally.

If a person refuses upon the request of a law enforcement officer to submit to a chemical test of his breath designated by the law enforcement agency as provided in Section 63-11-5, none shall be given, but the officer shall at that point demand the driver's license of the person, who shall deliver his driver's license into the hands of the officer. If a person refuses to submit to a chemical test under the provisions of this chapter, the person shall be informed by the law enforcement officer that the refusal to submit to the test shall subject him to arrest and punishment consistent with the penalties prescribed in Section 63-11-30 for persons submitting to the test. The officer shall give the driver a receipt for his license on forms prescribed and furnished by the Commissioner of Public Safety. The officer shall forward the driver's license together with a sworn report to the Commissioner of Public Safety stating that he had reasonable grounds and probable cause to believe the person had been driving a motor vehicle upon the public highways, public roads and streets of this state while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or any other substance which may impair a person's mental or physical ability, stating such grounds, and that the person had refused to submit to the chemical test of his breath upon request of the law enforcement officer.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-11; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 11; 1981, ch. 491, Sec. 4; 1983, ch. 466, Sec. 3; 1991, ch. 480, Sec. 5; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 8, eff from and after July 2, 1996

 

SEC. 63-11-23. Review of report of law enforcement officer by Commissioner of Public Safety; notice of suspension; seizure of license where test indicates blood alcohol concentration above specified level; temporary permit to drive; denial of permit; representation of state in proceedings.

(1)  The Commissioner of Public Safety, or his authorized agent, shall review the sworn report by a law enforcement officer as provided in Section 63-11-21.  If upon such review the Commissioner of Public Safety, or his authorized agent, finds (a) that the law enforcement officer had reasonable grounds and probable cause to believe the person had been driving a motor vehicle upon the public highways, public roads and streets of this state while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any other substance which may impair a person's mental or physical ability; (b) that he refused to submit to the test upon request of the officer; and (c) that the person was informed that his license and/or driving privileges would be suspended or denied if he refused to submit to the chemical test, then the Commissioner of Public Safety, or his authorized agent, shall give notice to the licensee that his license or permit to drive, or any nonresident operating privilege, shall be suspended thirty (30) days after the date of such notice for a period of ninety (90) days in the event such person has not previously been convicted of a violation of Section 63-11-30, or, for a period of one (1) year in the event of any previous conviction of such person under Section 63-11-30.  In the event the commissioner or his authorized agent determines that the license should not be suspended, he shall return the license or permit to the licensee.

The notice of suspension shall be in writing and given in the manner provided in Section 63-1-52(2)(a).

(2)  If the chemical testing of a person's breath indicates the blood alcohol concentration was eight one-hundredths percent (.08%)or more for persons who are above the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages under state law, or two one-hundredths percent (.02%) or more for persons who are below the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages under state law, based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred (100) milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per two hundred ten (210) liters of breath as shown by a chemical analysis of such person's blood, or breath, or urine, the arresting officer shall seize the license and give the driver a receipt for his license on forms prescribed by the Commissioner of Public Safety and shall promptly forward the license together with a sworn report to the Commissioner of Public Safety.  The receipt given a person as provided herein shall be valid as a permit to operate a motor vehicle for a period of thirty (30) days in order that the defendant be processed through the court having original jurisdiction and a final disposition had.  If the defendant requests a trial within thirty (30) days and such trial is not commenced within thirty (30) days, then the court shall determine if the delay in the trial is the fault of the defendant or his counsel.  If the court finds that such is not the fault of the defendant or his counsel, then the court shall order the defendant's driving privileges to be extended until such time as the defendant is convicted.  If a receipt or permit to drive issued pursuant to the provisions of this subsection expires without a trial having been requested as provided for in this subsection, then the Commissioner of Public Safety or his authorized agent shall suspend the license or permit to drive or any nonresident operating privilege for the applicable period of time as provided for in subsection (1) of this section.

(3)  If the person is a resident without a license or permit to operate a motor vehicle in this state, the Commissioner of Public Safety, or his authorized agent, shall deny to the person the issuance of a license or permit for a period of one (1) year beginning thirty (30) days after the date of notice of such suspension.

(4)  It shall be the duty of the county prosecuting attorney, an attorney employed under the provisions of Section 19-3-49, or in the event there is no such prosecuting attorney for the county, the duty of the district attorney to represent the state in any hearing held under the provisions of Section 63-11-25, under the provisions of Section 63-11-37(2) or under the provisions of Section 63-11-30(2)(a).

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-12; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 12; 1981, ch. 491, Sec. 5; 1983, ch. 466, Sec. 4; 1989, ch. 482, Sec. 25; 1991, ch. 412, Sec. 2; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 9, eff from and after July 2, 1996; Laws, 1998, Ch. 505, § 1, HB 990, eff July 1, 1998. Amended by Laws 2000, Ch. 542, Sec. 2, HB878; Laws, 2002, ch. 367, § 2, SB 2848, eff from and after July 1, 2002.

 

SEC. 63-11-25. Appeals from forfeiture, suspension or denial of license by commissioner generally; exercise of driving privilege suspended during pendency of appeal.

If the forfeiture, suspension or denial of issuance is sustained by the Commissioner of Public Safety, or his duly authorized agent pursuant to subsection (1) of Section 63-11-23, upon such hearing, the person aggrieved may file within ten (10) days after the rendition of such decision a petition in the circuit or county court having original jurisdiction of the violation for review of such decision and such hearing upon review shall proceed as a trial de novo before the court without a jury. Provided further, that no such party shall be allowed to exercise the driving privilege while any such appeal is pending.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-13; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 13; 1983, ch. 466, Sec. 5; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 10, eff from and after July 2, 1996

 

SEC. 63-11-26. Actions which foreclose judicial review.

When the commissioner of public safety, or his authorized agent, shall suspend the driver's license or permit to drive of a person or shall deny the issuance of a license or permit to a person as provided in section 63-11-30, the person shall not be entitled to any judicial review of or appeal from the actions of the commissioner. A final conviction under said section shall finally adjudicate the privilege of such convicted person to operate a motor vehicle upon the public highways, public roads and streets of this state.

SOURCES: Laws, 1981, ch. 491, Sec. 9; 1983, ch. 466, Sec. 6, eff from and after July 1, 1983.

 

SEC. 63-11-27. Notification of authorities in home state of suspension of nonresident drivers privilege.

When it has been finally determined under the procedures of sections 63-11-21 to 63-11-25, that a nonresident's privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state has been suspended, the commissioner, or his duly authorized agent, shall give information in writing of the action taken to the motor vehicle administrator of the state of the person's residence and of any state in which he has a license.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-14; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 14, eff from and after April 1, 1972.

 

SEC. 63-11-30. Operation of vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor, drugs or controlled substances, or other substances impairing ability to operate vehicle or with blood alcohol concentrations above specified levels; penalties generally; granting of hardship driving privileges; penalties for violations resulting in death, disfigurement, etc., of another; penalties for multiple offenses; concurrent running of suspensions.

(1)  It is unlawful for any person to drive or otherwise operate a vehicle within this state who (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; (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, or two one-hundredths percent (.02%) or more for persons who are below the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages under state law, in the person's blood based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred (100) milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per two hundred ten (210) liters of breath as shown by a chemical analysis of such person's breath, blood or urine administered as authorized by this chapter; (d) is under the influence of any drug or controlled substance, the possession of which is unlawful under the Mississippi Controlled Substances Law; or (e) has an alcohol concentration of four one-hundredths percent (.04%) or more in the person's blood, based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred (100) milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per two hundred ten (210) liters of breath as shown by a chemical analysis of such person's blood, breath or urine, administered as authorized by this chapter for persons operating a commercial motor vehicle.

(2)  (a)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), upon conviction of any person for the first offense of violating subsection (1) of this section where chemical tests provided for under Section 63-11-5 were given, or where chemical test results are not available, such person shall be fined not less than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or imprisoned for not more than forty-eight (48) hours in jail or both; and the court shall order such person to attend and complete an alcohol safety education program as provided in Section 63-11-32.  The court may substitute attendance at a victim impact panel instead of forty-eight (48) hours in jail.  In addition, the Department of Public Safety, the Commissioner of Public Safety or his duly authorized agent shall, after conviction and upon receipt of the court abstract, suspend the driver's license and driving privileges of such person for a period of not less than ninety (90) days and until such person attends and successfully completes an alcohol safety education program as herein provided; provided, however, in no event shall such period of suspension exceed one (1) year.  Commercial driving privileges shall be suspended as provided in Section 63-1-83.

The circuit court having jurisdiction in the county in which the conviction was had or the circuit court of the person's county of residence may reduce the suspension of driving privileges under Section 63-11-30(2)(a) if the denial of which would constitute a hardship on the offender, except that no court may issue such an order reducing the suspension of driving privileges under this subsection until thirty (30) days have elapsed from the effective date of the suspension.  Hardships shall only apply to first offenses under Section 63-11-30(1), and shall not apply to second, third or subsequent convictions of any person violating subsection (1) of this section.  A reduction of suspension on the basis of hardship shall not be available to any person who refused to submit to a chemical test upon the request of a law enforcement officer as provided in Section 63-11-5.  When the petition is filed, such person shall pay to the circuit clerk of the court where the petition is filed a fee of Fifty Dollars ($50.00), which shall be deposited into the State General Fund to the credit of a special fund hereby created in the State Treasury to be used for alcohol or drug abuse treatment and education, upon appropriation by the Legislature.  This fee shall be in addition to any other court costs or fees required for the filing of petitions.

The petition filed under the provisions of this subsection shall contain the specific facts which the petitioner alleges to constitute a hardship and the driver's license number of the petitioner.  A hearing may be held on any petition filed under this subsection only after ten (10) days' prior written notice to the Commissioner of Public Safety, or his designated agent, or the attorney designated to represent the state.  At such hearing, the court may enter an order reducing the period of suspension.

The order entered under the provisions of this subsection shall contain the specific grounds upon which hardship was determined, and shall order the petitioner to attend and complete an alcohol safety education program as provided in Section 63-11-32.  A certified copy of such order shall be delivered to the Commissioner of Public Safety by the clerk of the court within five (5) days of the entry of the order.  The certified copy of such order shall contain information which will identify the petitioner, including, but not limited to, the name, mailing address, street address, social security number and driver's license number of the petitioner.

At any time following at least thirty (30) days of suspension for a first offense violation of this section, the court may grant the person hardship driving privileges upon written petition of the defendant, if it finds reasonable cause to believe that revocation would hinder the person's ability to:

              (i)  Continue his employment;
              (ii)  Continue attending school or an educational institution; or
              (iii)  Obtain necessary medical care.

Proof of the hardship shall be established by clear and convincing evidence which shall be supported by independent documentation.

(b)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), upon any second conviction of any person violating subsection (1) of this section, the offenses being committed within a period of five (5) years, such person shall be fined not less than Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) nor more than One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00), shall be imprisoned not less than five (5) days nor more than one (1) year and sentenced to community service work for not less than ten (10) days nor more than one (1) year.  The minimum penalties shall not be suspended or reduced by the court and no prosecutor shall offer any suspension or sentence reduction as part of a plea bargain.  Except as may otherwise be provided by paragraph (d) of this subsection, the Commissioner of Public Safety shall suspend the driver's license of such person for two (2) years.  Suspension of a commercial driver's license shall be governed by Section 63-1-83.  Upon any second conviction as described in this paragraph, the court shall ascertain whether the defendant is married, and if the defendant is married shall obtain the name and address of the defendant's spouse; the clerk of the court shall submit this information to the Department of Public Safety.  Further, the commissioner shall notify in writing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, the owner of the vehicle and the spouse, if any, of the person convicted of the second violation of the possibility of forfeiture of the vehicle if such person is convicted of a third violation of subsection (1) of this section.  The owner of the vehicle and the spouse shall be considered notified under this paragraph if the notice is deposited in the United States mail and any claim that the notice was not in fact received by the addressee shall not affect a subsequent forfeiture proceeding.

For any second or subsequent conviction of any person under this section, the person shall also be subject to the penalties set forth in Section 63-11-31.

(c)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), for any third or subsequent conviction of any person violating subsection (1) of this section, the offenses being committed within a period of five (5) years, such person shall be guilty of a felony and fined not less than Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), shall serve not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections; provided, however, that for any such offense which does not result in serious injury or death to any person, any sentence of incarceration may be served in the county jail rather than in the State Penitentiary at the discretion of the circuit court judge.  The minimum penalties shall not be suspended or reduced by the court and no prosecutor shall offer any suspension or sentence reduction as part of a plea bargain.  The law enforcement agency shall seize the vehicle operated by any person charged with a third or subsequent violation of subsection (1) of this section, if such convicted person was driving the vehicle at the time the offense was committed.  Such vehicle may be forfeited in the manner provided by Sections 63-11-49 through 63-11-53.  Except as may otherwise be provided by paragraph (e) of this subsection, the Commissioner of Public Safety shall suspend the driver's license of such person for five (5) years.  The suspension of a commercial driver's license shall be governed by Section 63-1-83.

(d)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), any person convicted of a second violation of subsection (1) of this section shall receive an in-depth diagnostic assessment, and if as a result of such assessment is determined to be in need of treatment of his alcohol and/or drug abuse problem, such person shall successfully complete treatment of his alcohol and/or drug abuse problem at a program site certified by the Department of Mental Health.  Such person shall be eligible for reinstatement of his driving privileges upon the successful completion of such treatment after a period of one (1) year after such person's driver's license is suspended.  Each person who receives a diagnostic assessment shall pay a fee representing the cost of such assessment.  Each person who participates in a treatment program shall pay a fee representing the cost of such treatment.

(e)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), any person convicted of a third or subsequent violation of subsection (1) of this section shall receive an in-depth diagnostic assessment, and if as a result of such assessment is determined to be in need of treatment of his alcohol and/or drug abuse problem, such person shall enter an alcohol and/or drug abuse program approved by the Department of Mental Health for treatment of such person's alcohol and/or drug abuse problem.  If such person successfully completes such treatment, such person shall be eligible for reinstatement of his driving privileges after a period of three (3) years after such person's driver's license is suspended.

(f)  The Department of Public Safety shall promulgate rules and regulations for the use of interlock ignition devices as provided in Section 63-11-31 and consistent with the provisions therein.  Such rules and regulations shall provide for the calibration of such devices and shall provide that the cost of the use of such systems shall be borne by the offender.  The  Department of Public Safety shall approve which vendors of such devices shall be used to furnish such systems.

(3)  (a)  This subsection shall be known and may be cited as Zero Tolerance for Minors.  The provisions of this subsection shall apply only when a person under the age of twenty-one (21) years has a blood alcohol concentration two one-hundredths percent (.02%) or more, but lower than eight one-hundredths percent (.08%).  If such person's blood alcohol concentration is eight one-hundredths percent (.08%) or more, the provisions of subsection (2) shall apply.

(b)  Upon conviction of any person under the age of twenty-one (21) years for the first offense of violating subsection (1) of this section where chemical tests provided for under Section 63-11-5 were given, or where chemical test results are not available, such person shall have his driver's license suspended for ninety (90) days and shall be fined Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00); and the court shall order such person to attend and complete an alcohol safety education program as provided in Section 63-11-32.  The court may also require attendance at a victim impact panel.

The * * * court * * * in the county in which the conviction was had or the circuit court of the person's county of residence may reduce the suspension of driving privileges under Section 63-11-30(2)(a) if the denial of which would constitute a hardship on the offender, except that no court may issue such an order reducing the suspension of driving privileges under this subsection until thirty (30) days have elapsed from the effective date of the suspension.  Hardships shall only apply to first offenses under Section 63-11-30(1), and shall not apply to second, third or subsequent convictions of any person violating subsection (1) of this section.  A reduction of suspension on the basis of hardship shall not be available to any person who refused to submit to a chemical test upon the request of a law enforcement officer as provided in Section 63-11-5.  When the petition is filed, such person shall pay to the circuit clerk of the court where the petition is filed a fee of Fifty Dollars ($50.00), which shall be deposited into the State General Fund to the credit of a special fund hereby created in the State Treasury to be used for alcohol or drug abuse treatment and education, upon appropriation by the Legislature.  This fee shall be in addition to any other court costs or fees required for the filing of petitions.

The petition filed under the provisions of this subsection shall contain the specific facts which the petitioner alleges to constitute a hardship and the driver's license number of the petitioner.  A hearing may be held on any petition filed under this subsection only after ten (10) days' prior written notice to the Commissioner of Public Safety, or his designated agent, or the attorney designated to represent the state.  At such hearing, the court may enter an order reducing the period of suspension.

The order entered under the provisions of this subsection shall contain the specific grounds upon which hardship was determined, and shall order the petitioner to attend and complete an alcohol safety education program as provided in Section 63-11-32.  A certified copy of such order shall be delivered to the Commissioner of Public Safety by the clerk of the court within five (5) days of the entry of the order.  The certified copy of such order shall contain information which will identify the petitioner, including, but not limited to, the name, mailing address, street address, social security number and driver's license number of the petitioner.

At any time following at least thirty (30) days of suspension for a first offense violation of this section, the court may grant the person hardship driving privileges upon written petition of the defendant, if it finds reasonable cause to believe that revocation would hinder the person's ability to:

              (i)  Continue his employment;
              (ii)  Continue attending school or an educational institution; or
              (iii)  Obtain necessary medical care.

Proof of the hardship shall be established by clear and convincing evidence which shall be supported by independent documentation.

(c)  Upon any second conviction of any person under the age of twenty-one (21) years violating subsection (1) of this section, the offenses being committed within a period of five (5) years, such person shall be fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) and shall have his driver's license suspended for one (1) year

(d)  For any third or subsequent conviction of any person under the age of twenty-one (21) years violating subsection (1) of this section, the offenses being committed within a period of five (5) years, such person shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) and shall have his driver's license suspended until he reaches the age of twenty-one (21) or for two (2) years, whichever is longer.

(e)  Any person under the age of twenty-one (21) years convicted of a second violation of subsection (1) of this section, may have the period that his driver's license is suspended reduced if such person receives an in-depth diagnostic assessment, and as a result of such assessment is determined to be in need of treatment of his alcohol and/or drug abuse problem and successfully completes treatment of his alcohol and/or drug abuse problem at a program site certified by the Department of Mental Health.  Such person shall be eligible for reinstatement of his driving privileges upon the successful completion of such treatment after a period of six (6) months after such person's driver's license is suspended.  Each person who receives a diagnostic assessment shall pay a fee representing the cost of such assessment.  Each person who participates in a treatment program shall pay a fee representing the cost of such treatment.

(f)  Any person under the age of twenty-one (21) years convicted of a third or subsequent violation of subsection (1) of this section shall complete treatment of an alcohol and/or drug abuse program at a site certified by the Department of Mental Health.

(g)  The court shall have the discretion to rule that a first offense of this subsection by a person under the age of twenty-one (21) years shall be nonadjudicated.  Such person shall be eligible for nonadjudication only once.  The Department of Public Safety shall maintain a confidential registry of all cases which are nonadjudicated as provided in this paragraph.  A judge who rules that a case is nonadjudicated shall forward such ruling to the Department of Public Safety.  Judges and prosecutors involved in implied consent violations shall have access to the confidential registry for the purpose of determining nonadjudication eligibility.  A record of a person who has been nonadjudicated shall be maintained for five (5) years or until such person reaches the age of twenty-one (21) years.  Any person whose confidential record has been disclosed in violation of this paragraph shall have a civil cause of action against the person and/or agency responsible for such disclosure.

(4)  In addition to the other penalties provided in this section, every person refusing a law enforcement officer's request to submit to a chemical test of his breath as provided in this chapter, or who was unconscious at the time of a chemical test and refused to consent to the introduction of the results of such test in any prosecution, shall suffer an additional suspension of driving privileges as follows:

The Commissioner of Public Safety or his authorized agent shall suspend the driver's license or permit to drive or deny the issuance of a license or permit to such person as provided for first, second and third or subsequent offenders in subsection (2) of this section.  Such suspension shall be in addition to any suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (1) of Section 63-11-23.  The minimum suspension imposed under this subsection shall not be reduced and no prosecutor is authorized to offer a reduction of such suspension as part of a plea bargain.

(5)  Every person who operates any motor vehicle in violation of the provisions of subsection (1) of this section and who in a negligent manner causes the death of another or mutilates, disfigures, permanently disables or destroys the tongue, eye, lip, nose or any other limb, organ or member of another shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a separate felony for each such death, mutilation, disfigurement or other injury and shall be committed to the custody of the State Department of Corrections for a period of time of not less than five (5) years and not to exceed twenty-five (25) years for each such death, mutilation, disfigurement or other injury, and the imprisonment for the second or each subsequent conviction, in the discretion of the court, shall commence either at the termination of the imprisonment for the preceding conviction or run concurrently with the preceding conviction.  Any person charged with causing the death of another as described in this subsection shall be required to post bail before being released after arrest.

(6)  Upon conviction of any violation of subsection (1) of this section, the trial judge shall sign in the place provided on the traffic ticket, citation or affidavit stating that the person arrested either employed an attorney or waived his right to an attorney after having been properly advised.  If the person arrested employed an attorney, the name, address and telephone number of the attorney shall be written on the ticket, citation or affidavit.  The judge shall cause a copy of the traffic ticket, citation or affidavit, and any other pertinent documents concerning the conviction, to be sent to the Commissioner of Public Safety.  A copy of the traffic ticket, citation or affidavit and any other pertinent documents, having been attested as true and correct by the Commissioner of Public Safety, or his designee, shall be sufficient proof of the conviction for purposes of determining the enhanced penalty for any subsequent convictions of violations of subsection (1) of this section.

(7)  Convictions in other states of violations for driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or while under the influence of any other substance that has impaired the person's ability to operate a motor vehicle occurring after July 1, 1992, shall be counted for the purposes of determining if a violation of subsection (1) of this section is a first, second, third or subsequent offense and the penalty that shall be imposed upon conviction for a violation of subsection (1) of this section.

(8)  For the purposes of determining how to impose the sentence for a second, third or subsequent conviction under this section, the indictment shall not be required to enumerate previous convictions.  It shall only be necessary that the indictment state the number of times that the defendant has been convicted and sentenced within the past five (5) years under this section to determine if an enhanced penalty shall be imposed.  The amount of fine and imprisonment imposed in previous convictions shall not be considered in calculating offenses to determine a second, third or subsequent offense of this section.

(9)  Any person under the legal age to obtain a license to operate a motor vehicle convicted under this section shall not be eligible to receive such license until the person reaches the age of eighteen (18) years.

(10)  Suspension of driving privileges for any person convicted of violations of Section 63-11-30(1) shall run consecutively.

(11)  The court may order the use of any ignition interlock device as provided in Section 63-11-31.

SOURCES: Laws, 1981, ch. 491, Sec. 6; 1983, ch. 466, Secs. 7, 13; 1989, ch. 565, Sec. 1; 1991, ch. 480, Sec. 6; 1992, ch. 500, Sec. 1; 1994, ch. 340, Sec. 4; 1995, ch. 540, Sec. 1; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 11, eff from and after July 2, 1996; Laws, 1998, Ch. 505, § 2, HB 990, eff July 1, 1998. Amended by Laws 2000, Ch. 542, Sec. 3, HB878; Laws, 2002, ch. 367, § 1, SB 2848; Laws, 2004, ch. 503, § 1, HB 96, eff from and after passage (approved May 4, 2004).

 

SEC. 63-11-31. Impoundment or immobilization of all vehicles registered to person convicted of DUI; installation of ignition interlock system.

(1) (a) In addition to the penalties authorized for any second or subsequent convictions of Section 63-11-30, the court shall order either the impoundment and sale of all vehicles registered to the person convicted, or if other licensed drivers living in the household are dependent upon the vehicle * * * for necessary transportation, the court may order the installation of an ignition interlock system on the vehicle in lieu of impoundment and sale. Additionally, the court shall order the installation of an ignition interlock system on all vehicles registered to the person for a minimum period of six (6) months to occur upon reinstatement of the person's driver's license if the court determines it is a vehicle to which the person has access and which should be subject to ignition interlock. The cost associated with impoundment, * * *or ignition interlock shall be paid by the person convicted. For the purpose of this section, "ignition interlock device" means a device which connects a motor vehicle ignition system to a breath-alcohol analyzer and prevents a motor vehicle ignition from starting if the driver's blood alcohol level exceeds the calibrated setting on the device.

(b) A person may not tamper with, or in any way attempt to circumvent the * * *impoundment of vehicles ordered by the court. A violation of this paragraph (b) is a misdemeanor and upon conviction the violator shall be fined an amount not less than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisoned for not more than one (1) year or both.

(c) When a court orders a person to operate only a motor vehicle which is equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device, the court shall establish a specific calibration setting no lower than two one-hundredths percent (.02%) nor more than four one-hundredths percent (.04%) blood alcohol concentration at which the ignition interlock device will prevent the motor vehicle from being started.

(d) Upon ordering use of an ignition interlock device, the court shall:

(i) State on the record the requirement for and the period of use of the device, and so notify the Department of Public Safety;

(ii) Direct that the records of the department reflect that the person may not operate a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device;

(iii) Direct the department to attach or imprint a notation on the driver's license of any person restricted under this section stating that the person may operate only a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device;

(iv) Require proof of the installation of the device and periodic reporting by the person for verification of the proper operation of the device;

(v) Require the person to have the system monitored for proper use and accuracy by an entity approved by the department at least semiannually, or more frequently as the circumstances may require;

(vi) Require the person to pay the reasonable cost of leasing or buying, monitoring, and maintaining the device, and may establish a payment schedule therefore.

(e) (i) 1. A person prohibited under this section from operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device may not solicit or have another person attempt to start or start a motor vehicle equipped with such a device.

2. A person may not attempt to start or start a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device for the purpose of providing an operable motor vehicle to a person who is prohibited under this section from operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device.

3. A person may not tamper with, or in any way attempt to circumvent, the operation of an ignition interlock device that has been installed in a motor vehicle.

4. A person may not knowingly provide a motor vehicle not equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device to another person who the provider of such vehicle knows or should know is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock device.

(ii) A violation of this paragraph (e) is a misdemeanor and upon conviction the violator shall be fined an amount not less than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisoned for not more than one (1) year, or both.

(iii) A person shall not be in violation of this paragraph (e) if:

1. The starting of a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device is done for the purpose of safety or mechanical repair of the device or the vehicle, and the person subject to the court order does not operate the vehicle; or

2. The court finds that a person is required to operate a motor vehicle in the course and scope of the person's employment. If the vehicle is owned by the person's employer, the person may operate that vehicle during regular working hours for the purposes of employment without installation of an ignition interlock device if the employer has been notified of such driving privilege restriction and if proof of that notification is kept with the vehicle at all times. This employment exemption does not apply if the business entity that owns the vehicle is owned or controlled by the person who is prohibited from operating the motor vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock device.

(f) (i) In addition to the circumstances under which a judge may order the use of an ignition interlock device set out in subsection (1)(a) of this section, a judge may order that the vehicle owned or operated by a person or a family member of any person who committed a violation of Section 63-11-30 be equipped with an ignition interlock device for all or a portion of the time the driver's license of the operator of such vehicle is suspended or restricted pursuant to this section, if:

1. The operator of the vehicle used to violate Section 63-11-30 has at least one (1) prior conviction for driving a motor vehicle when such person's privilege to do so is cancelled, suspended or revoked as provided by Section 63-11-30; or

2. The driver's license of the operator of such vehicle was cancelled, suspended or revoked at the time of the violation of Section 63-11-30.

(ii) The provisions of this paragraph (f) shall not apply if the vehicle used to commit the violation of Section 63-11-30, was, at the time of such violation, rented or stolen.

(2) The provisions of this section are supplemental to the provisions of Section 63-11-30.

(3) Sales of any impounded vehicles shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the administrative forfeiture procedures set forth in Sections 63-11-49 through 63-11-53.

 

SOURCES: Laws, 2000, ch. 542, § 1; Laws, 2001, ch. 477, § 1, HB 1185, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 23, 2001.)

 

SEC. 63-11-32. Development, implementation and funding of driver improvement program for first offenders convicted of driving while intoxicated or under influence of another substance which impairs ability to operate motor vehicle.

(1) The State Department of Public Safety in conjunction with the Governor's Highway Safety Program, the State Board of Health, or any other state agency or institution shall develop and implement a driver improvement program for persons identified as first offenders convicted of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or another substance which had impaired such person's ability to operate a motor vehicle, including provision for referral to rehabilitation facilities.

(2) The program shall consist of a minimum of ten (10) hours of instruction. Each person who participates shall pay a nominal fee to defray a portion of the cost of the program.

(3) Such assessments as are collected under subsection (2) of Section 99-19-73 shall be deposited in a special fund hereby created in the State Treasury and designated the "Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program Fund." Monies deposited in such fund shall be expended by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning as authorized and appropriated by the Legislature to defray the costs of the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program operated pursuant to the provisions of this section. Any revenue in the fund which is not encumbered at the end of the fiscal year shall lapse to the General Fund.

(4) Such assessments as are collected under subsection (2) of Section 99-19-73 shall be deposited in a special fund hereby created in the State Treasury and designated the "Federal-State Alcohol Program Fund." Monies deposited in such fund shall be expended by the Department of Public Safety as authorized and appropriated by the Legislature to defray the costs of alcohol and traffic safety programs. Any revenue in the fund which is not encumbered at the end of the fiscal year shall lapse to the General Fund.

(5) Such assessments as are collected under subsection (2) of Section 99-19-73 shall be deposited in a special fund hereby created in the State Treasury and designated the "Mississippi Crime Laboratory Implied Consent Law Fund." Monies deposited in such fund shall be expended by the Department of Public Safety as authorized and appropriated by the Legislature to defray the costs of equipment replacement and operational support of the Mississippi Crime Laboratory relating to enforcement of the Implied Consent Law. Any revenue in the fund which is not encumbered at the end of the fiscal year shall not lapse to the General Fund but shall remain in the fund.

SOURCES: Laws, 1973, ch. 408, Sec. 1; 1979, ch. 305; 1981, ch. 491, Sec. 7; 1983, ch. 466, Sec. 8; 1990, ch. 329, Sec. 11; 1991, ch. 356 Sec. 2; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 12, eff from and after July 2, 1996

 

SEC. 63-11-37. Contents and disposition of record of conviction under Sec. 63-11-30.

It shall be the duty of the trial judge, upon conviction of any person under Section 63-11-30, to mail a true and correct copy of the traffic ticket, citation or affidavit evidencing the arrest that resulted in the conviction and a copy of the abstract of the court record within five (5) days to the Commissioner of Public Safety at Jackson, Mississippi. The trial judge in municipal and justice courts shall show on the docket and the trial judge in courts of record shall show on the minutes:

(a) Whether or not a chemical test was given and the results of the test;

(b) Where conviction was based in whole or in part on the results of such a test.

The abstract of the court record shall show the date of the conviction, the results of the test if there was one and the penalty so that a record of same may be made by the Department of Public Safety.

For the purposes of Section 63-11-30, a bond forfeiture shall operate as and be considered as a conviction.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-08; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 8; 1981, ch. 491, Sec. 8; 1983, ch. 466, Sec. 9; 1985, ch. 346; 1991, ch. 480, Sec. 7, eff from and after July 1, 1991.

 

SEC. 63-11-39. Reduction of charges under chapter.

The court having jurisdiction or the prosecutor shall not reduce any charge under this chapter to a lesser charge.

SOURCES: Laws, 1992, ch. 500, Sec. 5; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 13, eff from and after July 2, 1996

 

SEC. 63-11-40. Driving while driving license or privilege cancelled, suspended or revoked.

Any person whose driver's license, or driving privilege has been cancelled, suspended or revoked under the provisions of this chapter and who drives any motor vehicle upon the highways, streets or public roads of this state, while such license or privilege is cancelled, suspended or revoked, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than forty-eight (48) hours nor more than six (6) months, and fined not less than two hundred dollars ($200.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00).

The commissioner of public safety shall suspend the driver's license or driving privilege of any person convicted under the provisions of this section for an additional six (6) months. Such suspension shall begin at the end of the original cancellation, suspension or revocation and run consecutively.

SOURCES: Laws, 1983, ch. 466, Sec. 11, eff from and after July 1, 1983.

 

SEC. 63-11-41. Admissibility in criminal prosecution of evidence of refusal to submit to chemical test.

If a person under arrest refuses to submit to a chemical test under the provisions of this chapter, evidence of refusal shall be admissible in any criminal action under this chapter.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-22; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 22, eff from and after April 1, 1972.

 

SEC. 63-11-45. Denial of insurance coverage on ground of refusal to submit to test or upon basis of test results.

No coverage otherwise afforded under any policy of insurance shall be denied on the ground that any person has refused any test provided for by this chapter nor on the basis of the results of any such test. Any provision to such effect in any insurance policy hereinafter issued shall be void.

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8175-25; Laws, 1971, ch. 515, Sec. 29, eff from and after April 1, 1972.

 

SEC. 63-11-49. Authorization for impoundment and forfeiture of vehicle seized under chapter; notice of intention to forfeit; forfeiture to spouse; request for judicial review.

(1) When a vehicle is seized under Section 63-11-30 (2)(c) or (d), the arresting officer shall impound the vehicle and the vehicle shall be held as evidence until a court of competent jurisdiction makes a final disposition of the case and the vehicle may be forfeited by the administrative forfeiture procedures provided for in this section upon final disposition as provided in Section 63-11-30(2)(c).

(2) The attorney for the law enforcement agency shall provide notice of intention to forfeit the seized vehicle administratively, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to all persons who are required to be notified pursuant to Section 63-11-51.

(3) In the event that notice of intention to forfeit the seized vehicle administratively cannot be given as provided in subsection (2) of this section because of refusal, failure to claim, insufficient address or any other reason, the attorney for the law enforcement agency shall provide notice by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the seizure occurred for once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks.

(4) Notice pursuant to subsections (2) and (3) of this section shall include the following information:

(a) A description of the vehicle;

(b) The approximate value of the vehicle;

(c) The date and place of the seizure;

(d) The connection between the vehicle and the violation of Section 63-11-30;

(e) The instructions for filing a request for judicial review; and

(f) A statement that the vehicle will be forfeited to the law enforcement agency if a request for judicial review is not timely filed.

(5) In the event that a spouse of the owner of the seized vehicle makes a showing to the department that the seized vehicle is the only source of transportation for the spouse, the chief law enforcement officer shall declare that the vehicle is thereby forfeited to such spouse. A written declaration of forfeiture of a vehicle pursuant to this subsection shall be sufficient cause for the title to the vehicle to be transferred to the spouse. The provisions of this subsection shall apply only to one (1) forfeiture per vehicle; if the vehicle is the subject of a subsequent forfeiture proceeding by virtue of a subsequent conviction of either spouse, the spouse to whom the vehicle was forfeited pursuant to the first forfeiture proceeding may not utilize the remedy provided herein in another forfeiture proceeding.

(6) Persons claiming an interest in the seized vehicle may initiate judicial review of the seizure and proposed forfeiture by filing a request for judicial review with the attorney for the law enforcement agency within thirty (30) days after receipt of the certified letter or within thirty (30) days after the first publication of notice, whichever is applicable.

(7) If no request for judicial review is timely filed, the attorney for the law enforcement agency shall prepare a written declaration of forfeiture of the subject vehicle and the forfeited vehicle shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Section 63-11-51.

(8) Upon receipt of a timely request for judicial review, the attorney for the law enforcement agency shall promptly file a petition for forfeiture and proceed as provided in Section 63-11-51.

SOURCES: Laws, 1992, ch. 500, Sec. 2; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 14, eff from and after July 2, 1996

 

SEC. 63-11-51. Institution of forfeiture proceedings; filing and service of petition for forfeiture.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 63-11-49, when a vehicle is seized under Section 63-11-30 (2)(c) or (d), proceedings under this section shall be instituted promptly upon final conviction.

(2) A petition for forfeiture shall be filed promptly in the name of the State of Mississippi, the county or the municipality and may be filed in the county in which the seizure is made, the county in which the criminal prosecution is brought or the county in which the owner of the seized vehicle is found. Forfeiture proceedings may be brought in the circuit court or the county court if a county court exists in the county and the value of the seized vehicle is within the jurisdictional limits of the county court as set forth in Section 9-9-21. A copy of such petition shall be served upon the following persons by service of process in the same manner as in civil cases:

(a) The owner of the vehicle, if address is known;

(b) Any secured party who has registered his lien or filed a financing statement as provided by law, if the identity of such secured party can be ascertained by the law enforcement agency by making a good faith effort to ascertain the identity of such secured party as described in subsections (3), (4), (5), (6) and (7) of this section;

(c) Any other bona fide lienholder or secured party or other person holding an interest in the vehicle in the nature of a security interest of whom the law enforcement agency has actual knowledge;

(d) Any person in possession of the vehicle subject to forfeiture at the time that it was seized.

(3) If the vehicle is susceptible of titling under the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Title Law and if there is any reasonable cause to believe that the vehicle has been titled, the law enforcement agency shall inquire of the State Tax Commission as to what the records of the State Tax Commission show regarding who is the record owner of the vehicle and who, if anyone, holds any lien or security interest which affects the vehicle.

(4) If the vehicle is not titled in the State of Mississippi, then the law enforcement agency shall attempt to ascertain the name and address of the person in whose name the vehicle is licensed, and if the vehicle is licensed in a state which has in effect a certificate of title law, the agency shall inquire of the appropriate agency of that state as to what the records of the agency show regarding who is the record owner of the vehicle and who, if anyone, holds any lien, security interest or other instrument in the nature of a security device which affects the vehicle.

(5) In the event the answer to an inquiry states that the record owner of the vehicle is any person other than the person who was in possession of it when it was seized, or states that any person holds any lien, encumbrance, security interest, other interest in the nature of a security interest, which affects the vehicle, the law enforcement agency shall cause any record owner and also any lienholder, secured party, other person who holds an interest in the vehicle in the nature of a security interest, to be named in the petition of forfeiture and to be served with process in the same manner as in civil cases.

(6) If the owner of the vehicle cannot be found and served with a copy of the petition of forfeiture, the law enforcement agency shall file with the clerk of the court in which the proceeding is pending an affidavit to such effect, whereupon the clerk of the court shall publish notice of the hearing addressed to "the Unknown Owner of . . .," filling in the blank space with a reasonably detailed description of the vehicle subject to forfeiture. Service by publication shall contain the other requisites prescribed in Section 11-33-41, and shall be served as provided in Section 11-33-37 for publication of notice for attachments at law.

SOURCES: Laws, 1992, ch. 500, Sec. 3; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 15, eff from and after July 2, 1996

 

SEC. 63-11-53. Disposition of forfeited vehicles; dispositon of money derived from forfeited vehicles.

(1) All money derived from the seizure and forfeiture of vehicles under Section 63-11-30 (2)(c) and (d) and Sections 63-11-49 and 63-11-51 by the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol shall be forwarded to the State Treasurer and deposited in a special fund which is hereby created for use by the Department of Public Safety upon appropriation by the Legislature. Unexpended amounts remaining in such special fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned on amounts in such special fund shall be deposited to the credit of the special fund. All other law enforcement agencies shall establish a special fund which is to be used for law enforcement purposes to purchase equipment for the law enforcement agency, and any interest earned on the amount in such special fund shall be deposited to the credit of the special fund.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), all vehicles that have been forfeited shall be sold at a public auction for cash by the law enforcement agency, to the highest and best bidder after advertising the sale for at least once each week for three (3) consecutive weeks, the last notice to appear not more than ten (10) days nor less than five (5) days prior to such sale, in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county in which the vehicle was seized. Such notices shall contain a description of the vehicle to be sold and a statement of the time and place of sale. It shall not be necessary to the validity of such sale either to have the vehicle present at the place of sale or to have the name of the owner thereof stated in such notice. The proceeds of the sale shall be disposed of as follows:

(a) To any bona fide lienholder, secured party, or other party holding an interest in the vehicle in the nature of a security interest, to the extent of his interest; and

(b) The balance, if any, remaining after deduction of all storage, court costs and expenses of liquidation shall be deposited in the manner described in subsection (1) of this section.

(3) The law enforcement agency may maintain, repair, use and operate for official purposes all vehicles that have been forfeited if the vehicles are free from any interest of a bona fide lienholder, secured party or other party who holds an interest in the nature of a security interest. The agency may purchase the interest of a bona fide lienholder, secured party or other party who holds an interest so that the vehicle can be released for its use. If the vehicle is susceptible of titling under the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Title Law, the agency shall be deemed to be the purchaser, and the certificate of title shall be issued to it as required by subsection (4) of this section.

(4) The State Tax Commission shall issue a certificate of title to any person who purchases vehicles under the provisions of this section when a certificate of title is required under the laws of this state.

SOURCES: Laws, 1992, ch. 500, Sec. 4; 1996, ch. 527, Sec. 16, eff from and after July 2, 1996

 

 
 
     

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