Today, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law a bill that requires any convicted drunk driver with a BAC of .08 or greater who obtains driving privileges during a license suspension to use an interlock for at least 90 days on a first-conviction and at least one year for repeat offenses.
MADD thanks Speaker Phillip Gunn (a victim of drunk driving, read his story here), Representative Andy Gipson, Senator Briggs Hopson, and Representative Kevin Horan for their leadership and commitment to the passage of this very important piece of legislation that will protect the public from drunk drivers.
When MADD launched the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® in 2006 only one state, New Mexico, required interlock for all convicted drunk drivers. Today, Mississippi joins 21 other states that have enacted these lifesaving laws. MADD has made ignition interlocks for all offenders its number one legislative priority.
Studies show that a first-time convicted drunk driver is not a first-time offender, but rather it is simply the first time they have been caught. In fact, first-time offenders have driven drunk an average of 80 times before they are convicted.
Requiring all convicted drunk drivers to use ignition interlocks to prove they are sober before they can start their vehicles has been shown to save lives and stop drunk driving. Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico and Louisiana, have seen a reduction in DUI deaths by 33 to 46 percent, largely due to these comprehensive laws requiring all drunk drivers to receive an interlock.
Not every state is protected by these lifesaving laws, so find out if your state requires ignition interlocks for all DUI offenders and take action.