New DUI law takes effect in Mississippi - - Jackson, MS

New DUI law takes effect in Mississippi

Source: MGN Source: MGN
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

What is being called a "lifesaving" DUI law has gone into effect in Mississippi.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving announced that starting on Wednesday, anyone convicted of drunk driving in the state will have to have an ignition interlock installed in their vehicle as part of their sentence.

MADD says that the new law is a key victory in its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, which is focused on passing similar legislation in all 50 states.

Representative Andy Gipson introduced and gained passage of HB 412, during the 2014 legislative session.

Prior to the passage of HB 412, the installation of an ignition interlock in Mississippi was solely up to a judge's discretion.

According to MADD, the new law requires the use of ignition interlocks for at least 90 days on a first-conviction and at least one year for repeat offenses for all convicted drunk drivers.

This includes first-time convicted drunk drivers with an illegal blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater who seek driving privileges during a license suspension and those offenders applying for non-adjudication.

"MADD thanks Speaker Gunn, Representative Gipson, Senator Hopson, and Representative Horan for their leadership and commitment to the passage of this very important piece of legislation that will protect the public from drunk drivers," said MADD National President Jan Withers.

"As part of MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, our top legislative priority in Mississippi and throughout the United States is advocating for legislation that requires offenders use these devices in order to drive following a drunk driving conviction."

When MADD launched the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving in 2006 only one state, New Mexico, required interlock for all convicted drunk drivers.

MADD says that in 2014, Mississippi, Alabama, New Hampshire and Delaware, respectfully, enacted laws requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.

Similar legislation is pending this year in New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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