Mississippi Considers Ignition Interlock Devices for DUI Offenders

Mississippi Considers Ignition Interlock Devices for DUI Offenders

House members just passed an amendment that would require everyone convicted of a DUI, even first time offenders, to install an ignition interlock device on their car. The machine acts like a breathalyzer.
DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Mississippi's moving forward with a new plan to stop drunks from getting behind the wheel. A new bill is aimed at everyone convicted of a DUI.

House members just passed an amendment that would require everyone convicted of a DUI, even first time offenders, to install an ignition interlock device on their car. The machine acts like a breathalyzer.
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It prevents a vehicle from starting until the driver breathes into it while sober.

"You wouldn't be able to drive (drunk)," says Michael Brown. "I've got a brother who gets plenty of DUI's so hopefully it would teach him a lesson."

How long the device stays on would depend on the number of convictions.

"I think people need to be more responsible for it," says Mike Harlock. "If you're pinched, (the state) should do everything we can to keep people from being out on the streets doing that."

House Bill 481 passed with 112 yes votes to 4 no.

The bill would also require offenders to get a new restricted driver's license.

"I think it would be effective," Brown says. "Hopefully people will get the message about drinking and driving."

Lawmakers hope it cuts down on repeat offenders. According to the CDC, ignition interlock devices reduce repeat offenses by 67 percent.

"It could be a good idea," says Tayannia Kerr. "But I feel like you're targeting people who got caught doing it. I know a lot of people out here drinking and driving who don't get caught. In this case, I feel like you should do it for everybody just to be on the safe side."

The bill now goes to the Senate. It would require a three fifths vote to pass.
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