DUI penalties may seem harsh, but they are harsh for a reason. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Mississippi has decreased drunk driving incidents by 2,800 since the more strict interlock ignition laws have been put into place. This proves that these devices, and more importantly, the laws that require the devices, are working. Additionally, the laws and penalties actually help people who have been convicted of DUI charges maintain productive lives, keep jobs, and take care of their families.
Sound crazy? Let's think about this for a moment.
The Old DUI Laws
Before the current laws were enacted, anyone who was convicted of a DUI offense would be subject to losing his or her license for a certain period of time. This meant that an offender could not drive to work, which made getting to work difficult. And, when getting to work is difficult, supporting a family is even more difficult, if not impossible. Many of these offenders would lose their jobs because they could not get to work every day without their driver's license.
Additionally, simply getting to the grocery store becomes a challenge when you do not have a driver's license. Of course, there is public transportation for some, but there are plenty of people who do not live within the scope of public transportation. Taxis get quite expensive, especially if you have to use them all of the time. Going to the doctor, or bringing a child to a doctor's office also becomes a hassle. What if the offender's child is sick?
These are all simple conveniences that we rarely think about when we have a legal driver's license.The ability to get from one place to another in our personal vehicles is an everyday necessity for most of us. When it suddenly gets taken away, it can disrupt the way of life of an entire family.
The New DUI Laws
Now, with the new laws in place, DUI offenders have the option of driving with an ignition interlock restricted license. This means that they are still able to drive to work, go to the grocery store, and drive their kids to school. They have to agree to have a device installed in their vehicles that will check their blood alcohol content every time they get in the vehicle, before the vehicle will start. However, this is a small price to pay to be able to maintain their daily routines after a DUI conviction.
The ignition interlock devices ensure that convicted DUI offenders are not driving while intoxicated, yet they are still able to function in society without losing their jobs and putting their families in a worse situation. This truly seems like a win-win for everyone involved.
If you or someone you love has been charged with a DUI, you probably have a lot of questions. Contact the law office of James Robert Ferguson today at (901) 318-3847 for a free consultation about your case.