Some lawmakers praised for DUI work, another facing the charge - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Some lawmakers praised for DUI work, another facing the charge

We've all heard the slogan, don't drink and drive. It's the law. Still, one senator is accused of breaking it. Mothers Against Drunk Driving released a list of what they call their legislative champions today. Five Mississippi lawmakers are on it. Senator John Horhn-D is not one of them.

Horhn finds himself on the other side of a law his fellow legislators have worked to toughen up. He hasn't said much since his DUI arrest last Thursday night.

"It has to go through the judicial process. And while it's in the hands of the courts I think it's best that I not make any comments and respect the process," Horhn said as he left the courthouse Monday.

Horhn is scheduled for a trial in Jackson municipal court on July 30,2014.

He'll be tried under the current DUI laws. But on July 1, 2014, the biggest change comes in the form of ignition interlock devices. Represenative Andy Gipson-R is one of MADD's "legislative champions" that pushed to get the bill passed.

"We have a way to make sure there's accountability and keep people who are actually drunk off the streets. And keep those of us who want to drive safely, safe," said Gipson.

It will be left up to the judge but first time offenders could avoid the current 90 day license supsension.

"They don't lose their license if they put an interlock device in their vehicle. The vehicle will not crank nor can it be operated if they blow into and it exceeds the blood alcohol content," explained Gipson.

Representative Gipson says they'll keep looking at ways to hold offenders accountable.

"A 2,000 pound vehicle on the road with a drunk or impaired driver is extremely dangerous, as dangerous as a loaded gun," Gipson said.

Under the current laws, if found guilty, Senator Horhn could face a fine of up to $1,000, an alcohol safety course and a 90 day license suspension.

The legislature also increased penalties for 4th or subsequent DUI's last session.

 

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