Bryant Expected to Sign Tough DUI Law

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(Southaven, MS) For years DUI deaths have plagued Mississippi highways.

Jennifer Marshall says it’s the kind of thing that lurks in the back of her mind every time she gets behind the wheel of her car, ”It makes me watchful. It makes me wary and observant there as much as I possibly can."

Governor Bryant says he’s ready to sign tough new laws police hope will keep drunk drivers off the roads.

”They become confident with the fact that after they’ve driven a couple of times and they’ve been drinking, they take the attitude, I’ve got this, I can drive this vehicle impaired,” said Southaven Deputy Police Chief Steve Pirtle.

But the bill would put a stop to that.

It could trigger a license suspension and require first offenders to install an ignition interlock system. You can’t start your car until the device takes a breath sample.

It’ll help police departments like Southaven, stop impaired drivers.

How vigilant is Southaven when it comes to DUI?

For one, officers keep a watchful eye on traffic, but they also take calls from citizens who report off driving and respond in a hurry.

But the new law would go further, like making a fourth offense an automatic felony, and a penalty of two to ten years in prison.

”We’re pro anything that’s gonna help keep a DUI off the road or keep a DUI from getting on the road to begin with," Pirtle explained.

But the American Beverage Institute is definitely a con when it comes to the new law.

The group wants Bryant to veto it.

The Governor says that’s too bad, he intends to sign it.

”We need to curtail as much of that as we can” said Marshall.

The law would take effect July first.