Mississippi’s new DUI law goes into effect today. MBP’s Evelina Burnett reports, the law is going to mean some big changes for those caught driving under the influence.
Kyle Hadden, the owner of Camper City in Gulfport, shows how to use an ignition interlock device. It’s essentially like a breathalyzer for your car – the vehicle won’t start if your blood alcohol level is too high.
Hadden says it takes about an hour.
Starting today, anyone convicted of a DUI, even a first-time offender, will be required to use an ignition interlock device if they want to continue driving. Joel Smith, district attorney for Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties, says the use of the devices is a big step forward for public safety. He would even like to see their use expanded.
Smith notes the law also removes a 4th offense DUI provision, which he wishes would have been retained.
The devices have an installation and monthly fee. Opponents of the law have argued it is also expensive to enforce and time-consuming for probation officers.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving says Mississippi is the 22nd state to pass an all-offender interlock ignition law.
Photo: A Smart Start ignition interlock device, one of the types of devices available in Mississippi, is used when the driver gets into the car (photo source: Smart Start, Inc.)