Mississippi will become the 22nd state to require all drunk drivers to install an ignition interlock system in their cars. MPB's Paul Boger reports safe driving advocates believe the law will save lives.
Governor Phil Bryant is set to sign a bill that would place an ignition interlock device in the cars of those residents convicted of drunk driving -- even it's their first offense. The device is similar to a breathalyzer, and prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has alcohol on his or her breath. Mothers Against Drunk Driving spokeswoman Carol Ronis says the interlock systems teach drunk drivers to be safe.
"A first time offender has driven drunk at least 80 times before that first arrest. The same research also shows that a first offenders patterns of recidivism are generally the same as that of a repeat offender. Meaning that he or she will continue to drive until there is a toll so that they don't drink and drive."
Opponents of similar laws in other states have said interlock systems are too expensive to enforce and would create too much work for Mississippi probation officers.