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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Legislators are sending Gov. Phil Bryant a bill designed to strengthen the law against drunken driving.

House Bill 481 passed the House and Senate on Tuesday.

It says when someone is convicted for a first offense DUI, the person’s driver’s license could be suspended for 90 days. Or, a judge could order a 30-day license suspension and require the person to use an ignition interlock device for six months. The device prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has alcohol on his or her breath. One DUI conviction could be wiped off the record of a driver who completes six months with the interlock device with no problems.

The bill also says that a fourth offense DUI would automatically be a felony, carrying two to 10 years in prison.


Comment on this Story

  • SouthernSugar

    This is great news! I love the idea of using the ignition interlock device! Technology amazes me. It’s not a perfect plan, as someone who HAS been drinking can simply get a sober person to drive him home, so that the car would in fact start. However, this is a safer alternative than attempting to drive HIMSELF somewhere. What I love about this bill is that the fourth offense would be a felony. I’ve heard of cases in which people have been arrested MULTIPLE times for DUI and are still out on the road endangering innocent lives. This would prevent that…hopefully BEFORE someone gets killed.

  • DEB Murphy Forbes

    While I disagree with wiping the conviction off of the record, ignition interlock has proven itself the most useful deterrent currently available to prevent drunken driving. At least they’re getting behind interlock to some degree. More work to be done on it yet, though.

    I wonder if Governor Bryant has availed himself to the resources of Mothers Against Drunk Driving!? I know “we” work hand and hand with them here in South Carolina.

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