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MADD Law Enacted in Mississippi

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.