Mississippi seems to be in the news a little more than normal lately, and not always with positive, life-affirming headlines. Despite changes to Mississippi DUI law in the past, it seems the residents of the state are starting to pay the price for drunk driving, texting while driving and other causes of accidents – just not with higher taxes. Auto insurance companies are starting to raise premiums for drivers in the state because of the high rate of accidents, leaving Mississippi to wonder what the real problem is, and how to fix it.
As a state that takes drunk drivers seriously, the recent changes to Mississippi DUI law mirror those values. Requiring an ignition interlock device after a DUI conviction allows the offender the chance to get back on the road, eliminate employment problems and keep family obligations intact. Expanding the state’s ignition interlock program was a quick solution to a driving safety problem, a response we expect to see again, but for the current rise in all types of auto accidents.
If a lack of law enforcement presence is the problem, one of the solutions could actually be those interlock devices. They stop an offender from causing any further DUI incidents without the assistance of the police, freeing up those resources for other problems on the roads. Drunk drivers are associated with about one-third of automobile accidents in the U.S. on average, so anything that can stop those drivers from further problems is an obvious solution.
Rising automobile insurance rates may indicate there’s more work to be done to keep streets safe, but we’re sure Mississippi is up to the challenge. Besides, the state is already on a positive, life-affirming path to reducing the number of DUIs and maybe even helping law enforcement get a better handle on other road problems at the same time.