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Texting and Driving Bill Has “Enforcement Issues”; Palcohol Ban to be Debated

Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc.

JACKSON, Miss.–A bill that is intended to keep you safer on the state’s roadways by prohibiting texting and driving passed the Mississippi House last week and is expected to be taken up in the state Senate soon. The House is also set to debate a ban on powdered alcohol.

The texting and driving ban, which may go to the Senate withing the next couple of days, would carry a $25 fine for the first offense. House Speaker Pro Tem Greg Snowden (R-Meridian), said Monday that the bill is not without its problems, though.

“I think it was quite clear from the debate on the floor that this is not the tightest of bills, that there are some legitimate enforceability issues about it,” he said.

The issues debated on the floor are whether or not a police officer could consider it probably cause to pull you over if he sees you on your phone in your car. The question is whether or not a police officer could determine that you may be texting or using social media while driving.

Theoretically it could be considered probable cause, and that may end up with the law in court, should it pass.

Powdered alcohol is currently sold in the U.S. as a food flavoring. But, if a ban passes in the House and Senate and becomes law, it could be completely banned in Mississippi. Snowden said he wrote the new bill (HB1108), and believes the “palcohol” could be used for underaged drinking very easily.

“It was originally marketed as a way to sneak something into a venue and maybe not have to pay for it, maybe hide what you’re doing,” said Snowden.

The powder is mixed with water to make a consumable alcoholic drink. It has been banned in other states.

“The company that is trying to get this accepted has backed off those initial sorts of claims,” he said.

The bill has to pass the House before it is considered in the Senate.

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