Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has been a leading force in advocating
against impaired driving. Their efforts have led to many jurisdictions
and states passing new DUI laws that impose tougher penalties on convicted
individuals. MADD has a significant presence in every state, including
California, and uses these local chapters to lobby policy makers and pass
new laws. MADD's latest victory comes from Mississippi, where a new
law was passed to intensify drunk driving penalties.
The new Mississippi law is a part of MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk
Driving, and requires an ignition interlock device be installed on a car
for a minimum of 90 days to 1 year
following all DUI offenses. Before the MADD campaign began in 2006, only one state required the use
of ignition interlock devices at all.
Additionally, the new law stipulates that convicted offenders must complete
an alcohol safety education program within a year or face driver's
license suspension. If a first-time offender meets all the conditions
of their sentence and keeps a clean driving record for five years, the
driver may have the first DUI expunged from their record, which can eliminate
the obstacles created by having a criminal record.
Mississippi joins Alabama, New Hampshire, and Delaware in enacting these
laws since the beginning of 2014. Before the passage of this law in Mississippi,
it was up to a judge to decide whether or not to install an ignition interlock
device. MADD officials have expressed that they will continue to push
for similar laws in other states. Although IIDs are increasingly being
used as punishment in DUI cases across the state, California currently
does not have a statewide law requiring installation of an ignition interlock
device for all drivers.