It is a common misconception that once you’ve been convicted of drinking and driving, your chances of driving your own car ever again are slim. While it is true that in most states, a first-offense DUI will result in the suspension of your driving privileges, after a brief time you can be eligible to apply for a hardship license or restricted driver’s license as long as you meet your state’s criteria.
Mississippi is one of the states that will allow you to drive after a DUI, as long as you satisfy the following:
- Serve the term of your license suspension or jail time as ordered by the court.
- Complete the Mississippi Alcohol Education Program (MASEP).
- Provide proof of insurance (SR-22).
- Pay all court-ordered fees and fines.
- Provide proof of your ignition interlock installation.
An ignition interlock device works as an assurance that you will not repeat your past mistake of drinking and driving, and putting the lives of others in danger. With a breath test before you start your car, and periodic “rolling re-tests” while the vehicle is in motion, you are able to resume an independent life and provide the court proof of your commitment to remaining sober while driving.
Once you satisfy the requirements to apply for a hardship license in Mississippi, you can petition the court to have your privileges reinstated as long as there is a justification for you to keep driving. Your employment status, family obligations or healthcare matters are all reasons for the court to allow you to apply for a hardship license. From there, you will be given the freedom to drive again, as long as you use and maintain your ignition interlock device as ordered.
Most states, like Mississippi, currently have or are adopting laws that will allow some DUI offenders the ability to keep driving, as long as there is an ignition interlock device installed. These devices are bringing back a better quality of life, and helping them get back on the right path to responsible living.