For most people in Mississippi, the ability to drive is essential to their ability to support themselves by allowing them to get to and from work. Driving also enables them to take care of basic life needs like grocery shopping, attending medical appointments and more. When a person is arrested for a suspected driving under the influence offense, this very basic right may be in jeopardy.
2014 saw big change in Mississippi
According to a report by WLOX, until 2014, drivers convicted of DUI charges did experience a suspension of their driving privileges. That year, however, a new law went into effect that allowed a judge to grant them the ability to keep driving by installing and using an ignition interlock device.
The Mississippi Department of Public Safety indicates that even a person who refuses to take a test for a suspected DUI may be able to install an IID in order to keep their driving privileges intact during what would otherwise be a license suspension period.
How ignition interlock devices work
Intoxalock, a provider of IIDs, indicates that these systems include a handheld device into which a driver blows. The breath sample is then evaluated to determine if alcohol is present and, if so, how much. If the sample is clean, the vehicle ignition is unlocked and may be started. Ignition interlock device systems also require drivers to take additional tests at random times while they drive. Because a person never knows when this will happen, they should avoid eating or drinking anything other than water while driving to avoid food or beverages from interfering with the tests.