Mississippi DUI laws are effectively reducing the number of drunk drivers on the roads each year. Even MADD, with perhaps the toughest take on state drunk driving laws, has given Mississippi almost a perfect score in its annual report. Much of that is due to the state’s continual tweaking of its DUI laws, a determination that we hope will continue to blaze a trail for other states to follow.
MADD’s annual report gave Mississippi DUI laws a four-and-a-half out of five-star rating. The reasons:
- All-offender ignition interlock law. Any Mississippi DUI offender, even a first-time drunk driver, will have some type of ignition interlock requirement.
- Sobriety checkpoints. Random, pop-up, DUI screening events are legal in Mississippi.
- Administrative License Revocation (ALR). Once you are charged with a DUI, the Mississippi DMV will automatically suspend your driver’s license, and even require an ignition interlock, regardless of what happens to you in court.
- Child endangerment. If a child passenger is present, there are more consequences for a DUI, like higher fines. If Mississippi DUI laws made child endangerment a felony, the state would have a five-star rating.
- No refusal. Refusing a breathalyzer test, or a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test will result in automatic penalties similar to a DUI, and on top of any DUI charges that may be levied against a suspected drunk driver.
Perhaps the biggest strength of Mississippi DUI laws is the dedication of state lawmakers to continue to improve those laws. Mississippi DUI numbers are down, but that is likely due to fewer resources for law enforcement to prevent drunk drivers, a problem reported by several other states, too. While the state has earned an almost perfect rating from MADD, the vigilance of state lawmakers and residents is the key to supporting law enforcement and continuing to tweak current laws