Those convicted of a fourth DUI face tougher penalties
RANKIN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Recently a Vietnam vet lost his home due to damage by a drunk driver. That driver joins the list of those facing stiffer penalties for repeat offenders caught drunk behind the wheel in the Magnolia State.
Forty-four-year-old Verton Morris is charged with DUI 4th/subsequent offense after crashing into a mobile home on Holiday Road in Rankin County.
He is one of 17 people incarcerated in the Rankin County jail for the same offense.
Since last year those convicted of a fourth DUI face a felony and time in Parchman.
"Upon conviction, you will be facing jail time because it is a felony and also the law states that you shall have an interlock system in your car for a period of 10 years," said Rankin County Undersheriff Raymond Duke.
Prior DUI offenses were removed every five years now they are not.
"Now that we have this fourth for those that didn't learn their lesson. "We have something that has a little more bite to it," said Rankin County Sheriff's Department Legal Counsel Paul Holley.
If convicted of DUI 4th/subsequent the minimum sentence is two years up to 10 years in the penitentiary. Mississippi code 63-11-30 replaces the old law that allowed repeat offenders to possibly work around the system.
"That happens over the course of individuals lifetime where they're convicted so many times but that time frame allowed them to get off lightly again because the time period reset and now they can't run from that with a DUI fourth or subsequent law," added Holley.
The law also applies to anyone moving into Mississippi with three previous DUI convictions in another state.
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