Snowden, facing DUI charge, co-authored 2013 drunk driving legislation


Rogelio V. Solis, APState Rep. Greg Snowden, R-Meridian, during floor debate in 2015.
House Pro Tem Greg Snowden, R-Meridian, who was charged with driving under the influence Thursday after refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test, was co-author of legislation dealing with the state’s implied consent laws.
Under the implied consent laws, a law enforcement officer who has “reasonable grounds and probable cause” to believe someone is driving under the influence can require that person to submit to a chemical test. The  person who refuses to  submit to “the chemical test,” such as a breathalyzer, loses his or her license for at least 90 days.
The suspension for not submitting to the test would be in addition to the suspension and penalty that would occur if convicted of driving under the influence.
Snowden, an attorney, told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, which first reported the story, he failed the field sobriety test because of bad knees and did not submit to the chemical test because he had heard lawyers say it was best not to. He said he was not intoxicated but engaged in activity on his cell phone when he collided with another vehicle in his hometown of Meridian.
In 2013, Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, introduced and passed legislation that would give people convicted of a DUI the option of having a device – ignition-interlock device – placed in their vehicle for a period of time rather than having their driver’s license suspended. The device would require the driver to take a breathalyzer before the vehicle would crank.
The bill also made changes to the state’s implied consent law to conform to the new regulations concerning the ignition-interlock device. Snowden was one of several House members to co-sponsor the legislation introduced by Gunn.
Asked if Gunn had any comments on Snowden’s arrest, spokesperson Meg Annison said, the speaker is