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Jackson meeting coordinates Mississippi efforts to reform DUI laws, enhance prosecution

JACKSON (July 11, 2016) – Senator David Parker (R-Olive Branch) praised the Mississippi DUI Forum for continuing progress toward more effective efforts to combat impaired driving in Mississippi. “The work being done at meetings like this which bring together all parties engaged in this effort will help provide a framework to continue to improve our DUI laws, enforcement and prevention,” Parker said.

Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center sponsored the two day forum in Jackson this past Wednesday and Thursday, which brought together representatives from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police, the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety, Sobriety Trained Officers Representing Mississippi, and the Mississippi Attorney General's Office.

Parker gave a detailed legislative update to the 150 in attendance and participated in breakout sessions made up of law enforcement, court clerks, judges, prosecutors, driver records and systems personnel and mental health workers. Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn addressed the forum.

“The program began with recognition that as agencies in Mississippi, we are all part of the problem and so we must all be part of the solution. Legislation without education of those involved in these reforms won’t be effective. I’m encouraged to see agencies coming together to provide more ideas to make DUI prosecution, enforcement and prevention stronger. We need cooperation like this to continue to update our DUI laws as technology continues to improve,” Parker said.

Two DUI reform bills authored by Parker were signed into law from the 2016 regular legislative session. They went into effect on July 1. The DUI Transparency Act (SB2778) adjusted offense categories to assist in prosecution and enhance punishment; created more intense repeat offender prevention programs and requires complete reporting of DUI offenses to prevent repeat offenders from dodging consequences. The DUI Modernization and Technology Act (SB2777) created a study committee to monitor reporting of first offense DUIs, measure the impact of these reforms and report recommendations back to the legislature. It also created a Mandatory State Offense Reporting Task Force.

The Mississippi DUI Forum will present its findings and solutions to the study committee for recommendation of additional reforms to the legislature.


Posted July 12, 2016 - 1:09 pm

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