Barely a day goes by when people in Mississippi don’t drive somewhere. During the week they drive to work or to take their kids to school. On weekends they drive to the grocery store or to visit friends or family. What is key to remember, though, is that if you drive drunk you will face serious consequences.

One consequence that may affect a person’s life significantly following a drunk driving conviction is the court-ordered instillation of an ignition interlock device. These devices work by having the motorist breath into a tube, not unlike a Breathalyzer. If there is alcohol in the driver’s system, the device will register this through the breath test and will stop the vehicle from starting.

The court has the discretion as to whether to order an ignition interlock device to be installed in a person’s vehicle if it is the person’s first drunk driving offense. However, if it is a person’s second or subsequent drunk driving offense, the installation of an ignition interlock device is mandatory.

Having an ignition interlock device can significantly affect a person’s life. The device will not allow the car to start if alcohol is detected — even if the driver’s blood-alcohol concentration is below the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Those with such devices on their vehicles may find that this means they cannot get to work or other necessary places, simply because they had a single drink.

To avoid this harsh consequence, it is important to understand your rights when facing drunk driving charges. Mississippi criminal defense attorneys understand the state’s OUI laws and may be helpful to those accused of breaking them.