Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) wants all individuals who are convicted of a DUI in Mississippi and had a child in the vehicle at the time of the DUI to suffer serious felony consequences for their actions. MADD's recommendation is that, if a child under the age of 16 was in the vehicle at the time of the incident, the driver convicted of the DUI should also be charged with felony child endangerment. In New York, Leandra's law exists, complying with MADD's recommendation, and the state also requires ignition interlock devices for all convictions of DUI, but Mississippi laws do not.
Mississippi Laws Are Not Far Behind
Since Mississippi's DUI laws, which are outlined in the Mississippi Code of 1972 § 63-11-30, are already noted as some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation, it would not be difficult to impose felony child endangerment penalties in addition to the current consequences. At the moment, though, Mississippi will not charge a DUI offender with felony child endangerment unless:
It is their third DUI conviction and a child was present in the vehicle,
There was a serious injury occurred during any of the DUI offenses, or
A death occurred in any of the DUI incidences.
Mississippi Laws Already Tougher
Mississippi did toughen the laws to allow judges to order ignition interlock devices for all DUI convictions in 2015. This is one of the results that MADD has worked so hard for, not just in Mississippi, but also in all of the states across the U.S. These tougher laws are excellent examples of how Mississippi is working to keep the residents of the state safe, as well as others who are traveling on Mississippi roadways. What this means for DUI offenders, though, is that there are not as many chances as there used to be.
Pulled Over With a BAC
If you are pulled over with a blood alcohol level (BAC) that might result in a DUI conviction and you have a child riding with you in the car, you are going to need a tough Mississippi DUI attorney on your side. Defending a DUI charge is complex because not only are you facing expensive fines, you are also facing a plethora of other potential consequences, including driver's license suspension, auto insurance increases, ignition interlock device installation, as well as other potential charges and quite possibly even the loss of your job.
Being charged with a DUI is scary, but all you have to do is pick up the phone and call me if you are facing a court date in Mississippi for DUI. You are not a bad person because of your DUI charge, you simply made a bad decision that carries serious consequences. I am James Robert Ferguson, Attorney at Law, and you can reach me at (901) 318-3847. When you reach out to me, I will confidentially walk you through the process that will occur as I fight your DUI charge. I will do everything that I can to ensure that your rights are protected as we go through the process together.