Mississippi Code Title 63. Motor Vehicles & Traffic Regulations § 63-11-31. Vehicle impoundment, immobilization and ignition locks

(1)(a) The provisions of this section are supplemental to the provisions of Section 63-11-30 .

(b)(i) “Ignition-interlock device” means a device approved by the Department of Public Safety that connects a motor vehicle ignition system to a breath-alcohol analyzer and prevents a motor vehicle ignition from starting if the driver's blood alcohol level exceeds the calibrated setting on the device.

(ii) “Interlock-restricted license” means a driver's license bearing a restriction that limits the person to operation of vehicles equipped with an ignition-interlock device.

(c) A person who can exercise the privilege of driving only under an interlock-restricted license must have an ignition-interlock device installed and operating on all motor vehicles owned or operated by the person.

(d) A person who installs an ignition-interlock device may obtain an interlock-restricted license.

(2)(a) The cost of installation and operation of an ignition-interlock device shall be borne by the person to whom an interlock-restricted driver's license is issued, and the costs of court-ordered drug testing shall be borne by the person so ordered, unless the person is determined by the court to be indigent.

(b)(i) A person convicted under Section 63-11-30 shall be assessed by the court, in addition to the criminal fines, penalties and assessments provided by law for violations of Section 63-11-30 , a fee of Fifty Dollars ($50.00), to be deposited in the Interlock Device Fund in the State Treasury unless the person is determined by the court to be indigent.

(ii) A person nonadjudicated under Section 63-11-30 shall be assessed by the court, in addition to the criminal fines, penalties and assessments provided by law for violations of Section 63-11-30 , a fee of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) to be deposited in the Interlock Device Fund in the State Treasury unless the person is determined by the court to be indigent.

(3)(a) The Department of Public Safety shall promulgate rules and regulations for the use of an ignition-interlock device.  The Department of Public Safety shall approve which vendors shall be used to furnish the systems, may assess fees to the vendors, and shall prescribe the maximum costs to the offender for installation, removal, monthly operation, periodic inspections, calibrations and repairs.

(b) A person who has an ignition-interlock device installed in a vehicle shall:

(i) Provide proof of the installation of the device and periodic reporting for verification of the proper operation of the device;

(ii) Have the system monitored for proper use and accuracy as required by departmental regulation;

(iii) Pay the reasonable cost of leasing or buying, monitoring, and maintaining the device unless the person is determined to be indigent;  and

(iv) Obtain an ignition-interlock driver's license.

(4)(a)(i) A person who is limited to driving only under an interlock-restricted driver's license shall not operate a vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition-interlock device.

(ii) A person prohibited from operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition-interlock device may not solicit or have another person attempt to start or start a motor vehicle equipped with such a device.

(iii) A person may not start or attempt to start a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition-interlock device for the purpose of providing an operable motor vehicle to a person who is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition-interlock device.

(iv) A person may not tamper with, or in any way attempt to circumvent, the operation of an ignition-interlock device that has been installed in a motor vehicle.

(v) A person may not knowingly provide a motor vehicle not equipped with a functioning ignition-interlock device to another person who the provider of the vehicle knows or should know is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle not equipped with an ignition-interlock device.

(b) A violation of this subsection (4) is a misdemeanor and upon conviction the violator shall be fined an amount not less than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisoned for not more than six (6) months, or both, unless the starting of a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition-interlock device is done for the purpose of safety or mechanical repair of the device or the vehicle, and the person subject to the restriction does not operate the vehicle.

(5) In order to obtain an interlock-restricted license, a person must:

(a) Be otherwise qualified to operate a motor vehicle, and will be subject to all other restrictions on the privilege to drive provided by law;

(b) Submit proof that an ignition-interlock device is installed and operating on all motor vehicles operated by the person;  and

(c) Pay the fee set forth in Section 63-1-43 to obtain the license without regard to indigence;  no license reinstatement fee under Section 63-1-46 shall be charged for a person obtaining an interlock-restricted license.

(6)(a) In addition to the penalties authorized for any second or subsequent conviction under Section 63-11-30 , the court shall order that all vehicles owned by the offender that are not equipped with an ignition-interlock device must be either impounded or immobilized pending further order of the court lifting the offender's driving restriction.  However, no county, municipality, sheriff's department or the Department of Public Safety shall be required to keep, store, maintain, serve as a bailee or otherwise exercise custody over a motor vehicle impounded under the provisions of this section.  The cost associated with any impoundment or immobilization shall be paid by the person convicted without regard to ability to pay.

(b) A person may not tamper with, or in any way attempt to circumvent, vehicle immobilization or impoundment ordered by the court under this section.  A violation of this paragraph (b) is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, the violator shall be fined an amount not less than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisoned for not more than six (6) months, or both.

(7)(a) The Department of Public Safety shall promulgate rules and regulations for the use of monies in the Interlock Device Fund to offset the cost of device installation and operation by and court-ordered drug testing of indigent offenders.

(b) The court shall determine a defendant's indigence based upon whether the defendant has access to adequate resources to pay the ignition-interlock fee and the costs of installation and maintenance of an ignition-interlock device, or the costs of court-ordered drug testing or both, and may further base the determination of indigence on proof of enrollment in one or more of the following types of public assistance:

(i) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);

(ii) Medicaid assistance;

(iii) The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as “food stamps”;

(iv) Supplemental security income (SSI);

(v) Participation in a federal food distribution program;

(vi) Federal housing assistance;

(vii) Unemployment compensation;  or

(viii) Other criteria determined appropriate by the court.

(c) No more than ten percent (10%) of the money in the Interlock Device Fund in any fiscal year shall be expended by the department for the purpose of administering the fund.

(d)(i) Money in the Interlock Device Fund will be appropriated to the department to cover part of the costs of installing, removing and leasing ignition-interlock devices for indigent people who are required, because of a conviction or nonadjudication under Section 63-11-30 , to install an ignition-interlock device in all vehicles operated by the person.

(ii) If money is available in the Interlock Device Fund, the department shall pay to the vendor, for one (1) vehicle per offender, up to Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for the cost of installation, up to Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for the cost of removal, and up to Thirty Dollars ($30.00) monthly for verified active usage of the ignition-interlock device.  The department shall not pay any amount above what an offender would be required to pay for the installation, removal or usage of an ignition-interlock device.

(8) In order to reinstate a form of driver's license that is not restricted to operation of an ignition-interlock equipped vehicle, the person must submit proof to the Department of Public Safety to substantiate the person's eligibility for an unrestricted license, which may be a court order indicating completion of sentence or final order of nonadjudication;  in the absence of a court order, the proof may consist of the following or such other proof as the commissioner may set forth by regulation duly adopted under the Administrative Procedures Act:

(a) Proof of successful completion of an alcohol safety program as provided in Section 63-11-32 if so ordered by the court;

(b) Payment of the reinstatement fee required under Section 63-1-46(1)(a) ;

(c) Payment of the driver's license fee required under Section 63-1-43 ;

(d) A certificate of liability insurance or proof of financial responsibility;  and

(e)(i) For those driving under an interlock-restricted license, a declaration from the vendor, in a form provided or approved by the Department of Public Safety, certifying that there have been none of the following incidents in the last thirty (30) days:

1. An attempt to start the vehicle with a breath alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more;

2. Failure to take or pass any required retest;  or

3. Failure of the person to appear at the ignition-interlock device vendor when required for maintenance, repair, calibration, monitoring, inspection, or replacement of the device;  or

(ii) For a person who violated Section 63-11-30 with respect to drugs other than alcohol, proof of successful compliance with all court-ordered drug testing;  or

(iii) Both subparagraphs (i) and (ii) of this paragraph (e) if applicable.

(9) The court may extend the interlock-restricted period if the person had a violation in the last thirty (30) days.

(10) The court that originally ordered installation of the ignition-interlock device for a violation of Section 63-11-30 and a court in the municipality or county in which the violation occurred have jurisdiction over an offense under this section.

(11) A person who voluntarily obtains an interlock-restricted license may convert at any time to any other form of license for which the person is qualified.

(12) The Department of Public Safety shall require all manufacturers of ignition-interlock devices to report ignition-interlock data in a consistent and uniform format as prescribed by the Department of Public Safety.  Ignition-interlock vendors must also use the uniform format when sharing data with courts ordering an ignition interlock, with alcohol safety education programs, or with other treatment providers.


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