What You Need to Know About Ignition Interlocks

Posted by James Ferguson | May 01, 2017 | 0 Comments

Back in 2014, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) worked hard to get HB 412 passed and change Mississippi Code §63-11-30 to make penalties for Mississippi drunk drivers harsher. Then, two years later, HB 1366 was passed to make penalties even harsher. Essentially, the main goals of the law changes were to decrease the amount of people who were injured in drunk driving accidents, as well as to reduce the amount of accidents related to drunk driving. These changes in the Mississippi DUI laws meant that anyone who got behind the wheel of a vehicle with an illegal blood alcohol level and got caught would suffer harsher penalties than ever before.

Ignition Interlocks

One of the major changes in the law pertained to the installation of ignition interlocks in vehicles that would measure the alcohol content of a driver's breath before he or she could start driving. Generally, if an individual has been convicted of a drunk driving offense, an ignition interlock would be installed into his or her vehicle. Before the driver can start the car, he or she would essentially have to pass a breathalyzer test that is connected to the ignition. Typically, this would mean that the driver would have to have a blood alcohol content of less than .02%.

What are the Penalties for Drinking and Driving?

An individual who is convicted of DUI for the first time, according to Mississippi Code §63-11-30, would have to complete an alcohol safety education program within a year of the DUI conviction. He or she would also have to serve a 90 day driver's liecnse suspension. The individual could surrender his or her license and obtain an interlock restricted driver's license, in accordance with §63-11-31. He or she would not be eligible to get a non-restricted license for 90 days.

A second DUI offense will result in suspension of the offender's license for a year. The offender could surrender his or her driver's license and instead obtain a license that is ignition interlock restricted. Before the license is released from restrictions, the offender must either deal with a one-year suspension or drive with an ignition interlock device under an ignition interlock restricted license for a year.

If an individual is convicted with a third DUI, he or she will not have many choices. The offender will have to drive with an ignition interlock device and will have to obtain and keep an ignition interlock restricted license for three years once they released from jail. Additionally, an individual who is convicted of two or more DUI violations will need to undergo an in-depth diagnostic assessment, as well as complete treatment at an approved program, if deemed necessary. He or she will also have to pay any fees connected to the programs.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Mississippi, your penalties may be stiff. You are going to need the best representation from an experienced Mississippi DUI attorney. Contact the law office of James Robert Ferguson for a free consultation today at (901) 318-3847. You cannot afford to play games with your future or your driving privileges.

About the Author

James Ferguson

I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. During college, I studied at East Tennessee State University, where I received a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice, which I then followed up with a Master's in Criminology from the University of Memphis. Before beginning my legal career, I worked as a Project Coordinator at the University of Memphis, where I assisted in training law enforcement officers in the Memphis Model of Crisis Intervention Training. The purpose of the project was to provide officers with the tools to deal with citizens in a state of mental crisis. I then went on to study law at the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson. During law school, I clerked with Victor W. Carmody, Jr., the lawyer who wrote the book on DUI law in Mississippi. I am currently licensed to practice law in both Tennessee and Mississippi, and spend a majority of my time traveling the highways and biways of Mississippi defending those who have been charged with a DUI.

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