Last week, Mississippi became the 22nd state to enact an all-offender ignition interlock law. The law’s enactment came just weeks after neighboring state Alabama became the 21st state to pass an all-offender interlock law. Passing the all-offender ignition interlock law allows both states to apply for additional federal funding under a new highway safety grant program.
Up until last year, interlock installation in Mississippi was only required at the judge’s discretion. Under Mississippi’s current ignition interlock law, which went into effect in June 2013, all repeat drunk driving offenders are required to install the device for at least one year after a second offense or at least 3 years after three or more offenses. First-time offenders aren’t required to install the device but, at the judge’s discretion, can reduce their driver’s license suspension period from 90 days to 30 days by installing an interlock for 90 days.
Under the new ignition interlock law, all convicted drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 must install an interlock in their vehicle to obtain driving privileges during their driver’s license suspension period. First-time offenders must keep the device installed for at least 90 days while repeat offenders must keep the device installed for at least one year.
Car Breathalyzer Help would like to join Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in applauding Alabama and all of the individuals who created and pushed for the passage of this bill. All-offender interlock laws have reduced DUI deaths by 33% to 46% in Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico, and Louisiana. We hope to see another strong decline in DUI fatalities in Mississippi now that all convicted drunk drivers are required to install the life-saving ignition interlock device.