Ignition interlock devices have one job – to prevent a person from driving under the influence of alcohol. In states like Mississippi, after a drunk driving conviction, you could be eligible for an interlock that will allow you to keep driving yourself to work, school or to medical appointments, even if you’ve only had one DUI. You get back your freedom and independence, but, that doesn’t mean you won’t face further consequences if you continue to drink and drive.
Mississippi has a “three strikes” law for DUI convictions – if you are convicted of a third drunk driving charge, you will have a felony on your record, even if you currently have an ignition interlock or had one in the past. There is only so much an ignition interlock device can do if you are determined to continue drinking and driving, and there’s only so much leniency a court will have if you continue to put your safety and the safety of others at risk.
Any felony conviction is a big deal and will affect all aspects of your life. You may have trouble with employment, housing or being accepted into a college, university or the military. You will lose civil rights, like the ability to vote. This is all because the lessons of your first two DUIs were not learned, even with an ignition interlock, and you are considered a danger to public safety.
The inconvenience of an ignition interlock isn’t nearly as frustrating as facing multiple DUI convictions and a felony conviction. In fact, it is the easiest way for you to regain your personal freedom and get back on a better, more responsible road. Interlocks can only prevent felony DUIs in Mississippi if they are used as instructed and the overall lessons are understood: drinking and driving is wrong, dangerous and not worth the hassle, and taking those lessons to heart is the best way to prevent any DUI.