Senator Briggs Hopson honored by MADD

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 6, 2014

State Sen. Briggs Hopson III and two fellow state lawmakers are among 81 state legislators nationwide singled out by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for strengthening DUI laws.

A news release from the nonprofit calls Hopson’s work “instrumental” to make Mississippi the 24th state to pass an all-offender ignition interlock law, which allows the use of an in-car breathalyzer for any convicted drunk driver. The legislation, House Bill 412, was signed into law during last year’s regular session and went into effect in October.

MADD also named House Speaker Philip Gunn and state Rep. Andy Gipson of Braxton, who authored the bill and chairs the House Judiciary B Committee, 2014 Legislative Champions. Hopson chairs the Senate Judiciary A Committee.

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“MADD graciously thanks these lawmakers who authored and helped advance legislation central to MADD’s mission of eliminating drunk driving, serving victims and preventing underage drinking,” said MADD National President Jan Withers in a statement. “To these lawmakers who worked tirelessly to protect our families from drunk drivers and to help protect our young people from underage drinking, we are forever grateful.”

Credited by the organization for the uptick in stronger drunk driving laws is its branded campaign to end drunk driving, begun in 2006. The in-car device was a centerpiece of the effort, before which only New Mexico had an interlock law.