On Monday, state Sen. John Horhn of Jackson was ordered by a Jackson Municipal Court judge to get an ignition interlock device for his vehicle after his no contest plea to DUI.

The DUI ignition interlock law went into effect July 1, but the interlock — a device that prevents offenders from starting their vehicles if their blood-alcohol content tests above the legal limit — is no longer optional.

Mississippi is one of 24 states with such a law, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

The law passed this year made technical changes to the original law. It removed exceptions and expanded the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunken drivers, including first-time offenders who seek to retain driving privileges during a license suspension as well as a condition of applying for nonadjudication.

Horhn was given a nonadjudicated sentence as part of his no contest plea, which is technically a guilty plea.

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