Glossary of Terms

Alcohol Boating Safety Act – Mississippi's law that prohibits the operation of a watercraft on the public waters of Mississippi while under the influence of alcohol or any other substance which impairs one's ability to operate a watercraft. Section 59-23-1, Mississippi Code (1972).

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.

Alcohol Gaze Nystagmus – gaze nystagmus, or jerking of the eyeballs, caused by the effects of alcohol upon the nervous system.

BAC – blood alcohol content. In Mississippi, alcohol level may be determined by reference to breath alcohol level as well. The per se legal limit for BAC in Mississippi is .08%.

Booked – refers to 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.

BrAC – breath alcohol content. Mississippi will allow the prosecutor to try to prove the defendant's guilt by direct reference to the breath alcohol level, rather than having to convert the breath alcohol level to blood alcohol level.

BUI – boating under the influence. In Mississippi, it is unlawful for any person to operate a watercraft on the public waters of this state who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, under the influence of any other substance which has impaired such person's ability to operate a watercraft, or has ten one-hundredths percent (.10%) or more by weight volume in the person's blood based upon milligrams of alcohol per one hundred (100) cubic centimeters of blood as shown by a chemical analysis of such person's breath, blood or urine.

Burnoff – the human body's ability to metabolize alcohol, and eliminate it from the system through the functioning of vital organs. The burnoff rate varies from individual to individual, and can even be different for the same person depending upon various factors.

Chemical Test – 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 ability or physical ability.

Community Service – work, projects or services for the benefit of the community assigned, supervised and recorded by appropriate public officials.

Driving – usually, ability to exert control over the vehicle. Mississippi's DUI law refers to driving and/or “operating.” Officers usually need not observe someone driving in order to arrest them for DUI. Circumstantial evidence of driving is typically sufficient to establish this element.

Driving Privilege – this refers to 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.

Drunk Driving – general reference to those criminal cases that are called DUI, DWI, OUI, OWI, DUI-OS, or other acronyms. They generally describe two types of cases: first, where the driver is sufficiently impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two, that the driver cannot drive safely. Second, “drunk driving” relates to those cases where someone is above that state's legal limit, .08 in Mississippi, no matter how safely the person is driving.

DUI – driving under the influence, in violation of Section 63-11-30 of the Mississippi Code. Can either refer to driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs, or driving under the influence of a combination of liquor and drugs. This is the most widely used acronym for drunk driving cases, and it is the acronym used in Mississippi. It is important to contact a lawyer in your area that knows DUI law if you have been accused of DUI or a related drunk driving offense.

DUI-CS – driving under the influence of a drug which is a controlled substance, the possession of which is unlawful under the Mississippi Controlled Substances Law, in violation of Section 63-11-30(1)(d) of the Mississippi Code.

DUI-OS – driving under of any other substance which has impaired a person's ability to operate a motor vehicle, in violation of Section 63-11-30(1)(b) of the Mississippi Code. “Any other substance” may refer to any drugs for which one has a prescription, or even over-the-counter drugs, if they have caused one's ability to drive to become impaired. It is important to consult a drunk driving lawyer that is well-versed in this area of the law to ensure your rights are protected.

DWI – driving while intoxicated, or driving while impaired. Like DUI, DWI can refer to driving while intoxicated or impaired as the result of either drinking alcohol or taking drugs, or both. This is the second most widely used acronym for drunk driving cases. It is NOT used in Mississippi. Like DUI, the question of how to define being intoxicated or impaired is at the heart of a drunk driving case in jurisdictions that use DWI. It is critical to consult with a DWI lawyer in your area that understands these sophisticated issues.

Enhancement – refers to increased, or more serious, punishment in a Mississippi DUI case. A second offense that occurs within five (5) years of the first offense carries jail time of five days to one year, community service of ten days to one year, a fine of up to $1,500, a driver's license suspension of two years, the impoundment or immobilization of your vehicle during the license suspension period, and an ignition interlock device for your vehicle during the first six months following your license suspension. A third offense that occurs within five (5) years of the first offense is a felony, and carries time in the Mississippi state penitentiary system of up to five years

Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) – refers to scientific, mental, and coordination tests that are used by law enforcement officers to determine whether a motorist is impaired or driving under the influence. These tests may include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test, the Walk and Turn (WAT) test, the One Leg Stand (OLS) test, alphabet recitation, number recitation, finger-to-nose, finger-count, including others.

Fixation – this refers of the ability of the eye or eyes to focus on a single point.

FUI – flying under the influence. In Mississippi, it is a crime for any person to operate an aircraft in the air or on the ground or water, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotics or other habit-forming drug, or to operate an aircraft in the air or on the ground or water, in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus – gaze nystagmus, the jerking of the eyeballs, that occurs when the eyes gaze or move to the side along a horizontal plane. This is determined through the “HGN test” used by Mississippi law enforcement officers, where a finger or pen will be moved from side-to-side to determine whether this condition exists. It is very important to contact a qualified DUI defense attorney, one who is trained to administer this test himself, if you were given this test.

HUI – hunting under the influence. Mississippi law provides that a person involved in a hunting incident in which his or her use of a weapon caused a serious bodily injury or death to another person and who has an alcohol concentration of either one-hundredths percent (.08%) or more, or is under the influence of any drug or controlled substance, shall have his hunting privileges revoked or suspended for two (2) years, in addition to any other punishment imposed. The chemical test must be administered within three (3) hours after the hunting incident.

Hunting Implied Consent law in Mississippi – any person who exercises the privilege of hunting in Mississippi shall be deemed to have given implied consent to a chemical test of his blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol or any other drug if the person is involved in a hunting incident in which his use of a weapon caused an injury or death to a person. If a person refuses to submit to the test at the request of a law enforcement officers, then none shall be given. The hunting privileges of a person who refuses the test shall be suspended for four (4) years. Any person whose hunting privileges are revoked or suspended pursuant to this law shall be required to complete an approved hunter education course before hunting privileges may be restored.

Implied Consent – Mississippi's “implied consent” law means that any person who operates a motor vehicle upon the public highways, public roads and streets of Mississippi shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to a chemical test or tests of his breath, blood or urine for the purpose of determining alcohol concentration or the presence of any other substance which would impair such person's ability to operate a motor vehicle.

Nystagmus - the involuntary jerking and/or bouncing of the eye.

One Leg Stand (OLS) test – a standardized Field Sobriety Test wherein the suspect is instructed to stand on one leg while looking at his or her foot and count aloud. If you took a One Leg Stand (OLS) test for a Mississippi law enforcement officer before you were arrested, it is important to contact a qualified DUI defense attorney for a consultation about how the test was administered.

Qualified Person to Withdraw Blood – 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

Reasonable Doubt – the standard of proof in a criminal case, which includes DUI cases. In order to find someone charged with a DUI guilty of that charge, the judge or jury must find that the prosecutor has proven each element of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt.

Reduction of Charges – refers to the court or the prosecutor reducing a serious criminal offense to a less serious charge. For example, the reduction of murder to the less serious charge of manslaughter. In Mississippi, the reduction of a DUI charge to anything less serious is prohibited!

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

Retrograde Extrapolation – the term for a scientific analysis of one's blood alcohol level (BAC), to determine what that person's BAC was at a previous time (for example, at the time of driving) before a breath, blood or urine specimen is obtained

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) – a battery of three tests developed by the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) to determine whether someone is driving under the influence. The three tests are the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN), Walk and Turn test (WAT), and the One Leg Stand test (OLS)

Vehicle – in Mississippi, the term “vehicle” as used in DUI law refers to a motor vehicle, including but not limited to cars, trucks, SUVs, ATVs, riding lawnmowers, golf carts, and farm implements

Walk and Turn (WAT) test – one of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) wherein the DUI suspect is instructed to walk nine heel-to-toe steps down a designated straight line, turn around to the officer's satisfaction, then walk nine more heel-to-toe steps back. The officer observes the suspect for any one of a number of standardized clues, including failure to walk heel-to-toe, wrong number of steps, stepping off the line, using arms for balance, and others. If you took this test as part of your arrest for DUI, it is important to contact a qualified Mississippi DUI attorney to discuss the administration of this test.

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