Understanding Mississippi’s laws on drug and alcohol use can help you make safer choices.
What Are Mississippi’s Current Alcohol Laws
Those who consume or possess alcohol while under the age of 21 and without the permission of a parent can be fined up to $500 and required to provide up to 30 days of community service. Alcohol is legal for anyone in Mississippi as long as they are 21 or over. However, they still have strict laws for those who operate a motor vehicle on a public road while under the influence of alcohol. For a first offense, you may face a fine of between $250 to $100, imprisonment of up to 48 hours, and suspension of driving privileges for 90 days.
A second offense within five years leads to fines between $600 and $1,500, imprisonment between 5 days to a year, community service between 20 days to a year, and license suspension for up to two years. A third offense of drunk driving is a felony. Your license will be suspended for three years, you will be imprisoned for one to five years, and you will be fined between $2,000 to $5,000. Multiple offenses may also result in vehicle seizures and court-ordered alcohol treatment programs.
What Are Mississippi’s Current Drug Laws?
In the state of Mississippi, it is illegal to be in possession of any controlled substance without a valid prescription from a doctor. You are also not allowed to sell, transfer, manufacture, or consume any of these controlled substances unless you are legally authorized as a healthcare professional. Drugs that are a controlled substance in Mississippi include, but are not limited to:
If you are found with 30 grams or less of a controlled substance, your only penalty is a fine of up to $250. For multiple offenses of smaller amounts, Mississippi drug laws include misdemeanor charges, higher fines, and imprisonment of up to six months. When you have more than 30 grams, possession becomes a felony. Depending on the number of drugs found and the number of times you have been convicted of possession before, you may face imprisonment of anywhere between one to 30 years and fines of $1,000 to $1,000,000. Typically, your sentence will be worse if you have higher amounts of drugs or if you are in a motor vehicle.
If you are convicted of a controlled substance possession in Mississippi, you may be ordered by the court to attend Mississippi drug rehab. This court-ordered rehab is just like any other rehab. Typically, you can pick any program that provides the number of hours and the level of care that the court believes you need. There are state-funded programs for those who need budget-friendly Mississippi drug rehab, but you can also choose to pay for any luxury drug rehab of your choice if desired. In these rehab programs, you get medical care and behavioral therapy. You should not expect the treatment to seem different from voluntary rehab. The only difference is that if you do not get the required number of hours in time, you may be imprisoned.
Have Mississippi Drug Laws Changed Recently?
In general, Mississippi’s laws on drugs have changed since the “War on Drugs” era. The state is moving away from seeing drug use as a shameful, criminal activity. Though they are still not as progressive as other states, there have been some promising moves towards decriminalizing possession of smaller amounts and focusing on treatment instead of punishment. The state has recently made some changes to ensure that people do not automatically get their licenses suspended for drug possession. Another change is that almost no one is imprisoned for just possessing paraphernalia anymore.
Mississippi’s biggest change has been their attitude toward marijuana. First offenses were decriminalized a few decades ago, so people are not automatically sent to prison for just possessing a small amount. Though medical marijuana is still not entirely legal, the state has changed its laws to allow the use of CBD with a prescription. This marijuana extract lacks the compounds to get people high, and it has certain medical benefits.
What to Expect With Drug and Alcohol Laws in the Future
Like many other states, Mississippi seems to be moving towards decriminalizing marijuana in the future. In the upcoming elections, there are going to be votes on amendments that would allow the state’s residents to use medical marijuana. Decriminalizing marijuana possession altogether and treating it like alcohol still seems to be several years in the future. However, at some point, it is likely that this substance will become legal for those over a certain age.
In general, Mississippi drug laws do seem to be trending towards more of a focus on rehabilitation instead of punishment. This may lead to more sentences that require people to get proper care at a Mississippi drug rehab center instead of giving lengthy prison sentences to those with an addiction. Public opinion is changing, but it may still take a little time for the justice system to catch up. Currently, sentencing is mostly left to the discretion of judges, so there can be a big discrepancy in sentences.
As you can see, Mississippi takes drug and alcohol use very seriously. If you want to avoid all the consequences of illegal usage, it is important to get any substance use disorders under control. At Defining Wellness Center, we offer a unique approach to recovery. Our luxury drug rehab facilities provide a compassionate and evidence-based approach. You have access to a variety of therapies, ranging from things like cognitive behavioral therapy to music-assisted therapy. These can help you work on yourself and learn how to overcome addiction. To find out more about services, contact us today.