61-6-304. Penalties. (1) Conviction of a first offense under 61-6-301 or 61-6-302 is punishable by a fine of not less than $250 or more than $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 10 days, or both. A second conviction is punishable by a fine of $350 or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 10 days, or both. A third or subsequent conviction is punishable by a fine of $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months, or both.
(2) Upon a second or subsequent conviction under 61-6-301 or 61-6-302, the sentencing court shall order the surrender of the vehicle registration receipt and license plates for the vehicle operated at the time of the offense if that vehicle was operated by the registered owner or a member of the registered owner's immediate family or by a person whose operation of that vehicle was authorized by the registered owner. The court shall report the surrender of the registration receipt and license plates to the department, which shall immediately suspend the vehicle's registration. The vehicle's registration status may not be reinstated until proof of compliance with 61-6-301 is furnished to the department, but if the vehicle is transferred to a new owner, the new owner is entitled to register the vehicle. The surrendered license plates must be recycled or destroyed by the court unless the court decides to retain the license plates for the owner until the registration suspension has been completed or the requirements for a restricted registration receipt have been met. Upon proof of compliance with 61-6-301 and payment of fees required under 61-3-333 for replacement license plates and registration decal and under 61-3-341 for a replacement registration receipt, during the period of 90 days from the date of a second conviction or 180 days from the date of a third or subsequent conviction, the department shall issue a restricted registration receipt to the offender. A restricted registration receipt limits the use of the motor vehicle operated at the time of the offense to use solely for employment purposes until the date indicated on the restricted registration receipt.
(3) Upon a fourth or subsequent conviction under 61-6-301 or 61-6-302, the court shall order the surrender of the driver's license of the offender, if the vehicle operated at the time of the offense was registered to the offender or a member of the offender's immediate family. The court shall send the driver's license, along with a copy of the complaint and the dispositional order, to the department, which shall immediately suspend the driver's license. The department may not reinstate a driver's license suspended under this subsection until the registered owner provides the department proof of compliance with 61-6-301 and the department determines that the registered owner is otherwise eligible for licensure.
(4) The court may suspend a required fine only upon a determination that the offender is or will be unable to pay the fine.
(5) A court may not defer imposition of penalties provided by this section.
(6) An offender is considered to have been previously convicted for the purposes of sentencing if less than 5 years have elapsed between the commission of the present offense and a previous conviction.
History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 592, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 409, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 178, Ch. 575, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 212, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 440, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 503, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 155, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 365, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 393, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 534, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 452, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 394, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 56, Ch. 329, L. 2007.