In 2014, Mississippi began to require ignition interlock devices for repeat drunk driving offenses in the state. According to MADD, over 2,800 drunk driving incidents were stopped in the year since that law was enacted, proving without a doubt that ignition interlock devices work.
That’s why it doesn’t come as a surprise to see Mississippi taking that bull by the horns and running with it… all the way to an all-offender ignition interlock requirement. This month, Mississippi’s HB 1366 was passed and the Senate introduced a similar bill. Both have striking implications for safer streets in Mississippi, including:
- Requiring ignition interlock devices for all drunk drivers who want to drive after their license was suspended for DUI. This gives first-time offenders the option to drive with a restricted interlock license, instead of forcing them to stay put until their license suspension has ended.
- Requiring compliance-based removal of the devices, ensuring that no ignition interlock is removed if the driver is in violation of the requirements, including failed tests, missed appointments or tampering with the device.
This option – to install an ignition interlock instead of serving out a full suspension – is similar to a recently implemented law in Texas that is also seeing success.
Mississippi may be coming to terms with its drunk driving problem in the most positive way possible, by giving DUI offenders the chance to keep living their lives, while doing so safely. Without the interlock option, many DUI offenders can still choose to drive, illegally, and have the ability to drink and drive again. With the new requirements for DUI offenders, the streets are becoming a much safer place for other drivers and DUI offenders get to learn better habits.
Don’t wait – voice your support for stronger, all-offender ignition interlock laws and SB 2778 in Mississippi. Contact your Senator today!