Mothers Against Drunk Driving recently published its 2016 MADD Report to the Nation. In it, they looked at several different factors to assess how each state treats DUI, including ignition interlocks, sobriety checkpoints, administrative license revocation, child endangerment, and refusals, and then ranked the states. You might be surprised at how tough Mississippi DUI laws are and where the state landed on the list.
Background on MADD
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is an advocacy group that has been around since 1980. Their goals, since the group's inception, are “to aid the victims of crimes performed by individuals driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, to aid the families of such victims and to increase public awareness of the problem of drinking and drugged driving." A new, revised mission says, “The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking.”
Here is a quick explanation of the factors that MADD used to determine state rankings:
Ignition Interlocks: This is the technology that determines the BAC level of the driver before the ignition can start. MADD has worked to have these installed in all vehicles that DUI offenders drive.
Sobriety Checkpoints: These are the checkpoints that are set up to catch drunk drivers on-the-spot. Sometimes, they take place on holidays and other times, they take place on weekends or late at night.
Administrative License Revocation (ALR): States revoke the license of people who drive while intoxicated.
Child Endangerment: MADD feels strongly that states should also charge drunk drivers with child endangerment charges if they are driving under the influence with children in the vehicle.
Refusals: Some states criminalize when a person denies taking a sobriety test, others do not. MADD would like to see all states penalize all suspected drunk drivers who refuse to take sobriety tests.
MADD took all of the above factors and charted them, state by state, to compare the states and determine which ones are the easiest on drunk drivers and which ones are the toughest. Each factor was marked with a star under each state in the chart, with the highest ranking for states being five stars. How did Mississippi fair? With a 4 star rating, Mississippi was one of the toughest states in the nation, behind Arizona, Maryland, and West Virginia with 4.5 stars, and tied with Delaware, Illinois, Nebraska, and New York, all with 4 stars.
With that said, if you have been charged with DUI in Mississippi, you are going to want an experienced Mississippi DUI defense attorney to guide you through every step of the court process. Please feel free to contact my law office. I am James Robert Ferguson and I represent individuals who are facing DUI charges in Mississippi. I know you have questions and you want answers: I have the answers you are looking for. I will work hard to get you the best outcome for your case.