Ignition interlock device's role for DUI offenders - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Ignition interlock device's role for DUI offenders

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

A new law is putting the brakes on DUI offenders. The device is sensitive. It won't give you a blood alcohol reading, just a pass or fail. Even mouthwash will register on the system and could keep someone from starting the car.

Ignition interlock devices are about the size of a cell phone. Designated drivers typically take your keys after you've been drinking. The devices will stop DUI offenders from cranking up, even if no one's around.

If folks think they'll be sneaky and get a friend's help,the system is set up to catch you on camera.

"Basically just takes a picture of what's behind the steering wheel that way if someone were to have their friend blowing it then it's going to take a picture of a blue one," explained Jackson Communications co-owner Jay Cole. "It's going to be considered a temper when it's downloaded."

Co-owner Bill Roberts said they're using SmartStart technology. It doesn't let you get away with failed attempts.

"If you're drinking, obviously, the cars not going to start. If you're not drinking and start," Roberts said. "And every 30 days you're coming in for calibration so there's a very good data trail of what's going on."

If someone gets locked out of the system more than a certain number of times in a month, they would face additional charges.

The crew at Jackson Communications says they see the way it impacts the mindset of DUI offenders.

Representative Andy Gipson pushed for the changes.

"First time offenders can actually have the record absolved if they will agree to this interlock program, if the judge will allow it," said Gipson.

Gipson looks at the law as a way to keep the public safe on the roads.

"Under the old law, there was an automatic suspension," said Gipson. "People were continuing to drive and drive drunk."

DUI offenders will be responsible for paying for these devices if the judge orders it. The judge is still left with the ultimate decision about whether or not he'll issue it as an option.

There are several locations that offenders can go to for installation and monthly checks. A new interlock-restricted drivers license has also been created by the Department of Public Safety. It is now required if someone is ordered to use the device.

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