The Texas Ignition Interlock Device Requirement

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in Texas with strict consequences. The state works hard to keep people safe and lower the dangers of drunk driving. One critical tool in this effort is the Ignition Interlock Device (IID).

This article explains what an Ignition Interlock Device is and the laws that govern its use. It also discusses the consequences of DWI convictions that require IIDs and outlines the steps people in Texas must take to comply with ignition interlock laws.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a small breathalyzer installed in a car to stop people from driving drunk. Before starting the engine, the driver must blow into the device. If the device detects a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) above 0.02%, the engine won’t allow the vehicle to start.

People convicted of drunk driving often have to use Ignition Interlock Devices. This is either as part of their probation or to regain their license. This device enhances driver safety by verifying sobriety before getting behind the wheel.

IIDs prevent the engine from starting and require periodic retests while driving to make sure the driver stays sober. If the driver fails a retest or tries to tamper with the device, the IID will record the incident. This may trigger additional consequences, such as sounding an alarm or notifying the police. Ignition interlock devices help reduce drunk driving incidents by holding individuals accountable and promoting road safety. Usually, the limit is 0.02% BAC, much lower than the legal driving limit of 0.08% in Texas.

Texas Penal Code Covers Ignition Interlock Devices

Texas has specific regulations for using an Interlock Device (IID) to enhance road safety. Under Texas Penal Code Section 49.04, courts may mandate the installation of an IID in the vehicles of individuals convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) as part of their sentencing.

Furthermore, the Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 521, provides detailed administrative guidelines for the installation and maintenance of IIDs. According to Section 521.246, the following circumstances require IID installation:

  • Second DWI Offense: If an individual is convicted of a second DWI offense, they must have an IID installed in their vehicle.
  • First DWI Offense with High BAC: If an individual is convicted of a first DWI offense and had a BAC of 0.15% or higher at the time of the offense, they are also required to install an IID.

These regulations ensure that repeat offenders and those with significantly high BAC levels are monitored to prevent further impaired driving incidents.

DWI Convictions And IID Requirements

DWI convictions in Texas have serious consequences, especially for repeat offenders or those with high blood alcohol levels. The IID requirement is often part of these penalties and serves both punitive and preventive purposes. Here are some key points regarding the charges and penalties associated with IID requirements:

First DWI Conviction: First-time DWI offenders with a BAC over 0.15% are required to install an Ignition Interlock Device in their car. The duration of this requirement may vary based on the offense’s severity.

Second DWI Conviction: After a second DWI conviction, the driver’s license is suspended for 180 days to 2 years. During this suspension, they can obtain an occupational license by installing an IID. To regain full driving privileges, the offender must keep the IID installed for at least one year.

Third and Subsequent DWI Convictions: Repeated DWI offenses result in stricter consequences. These consequences include longer periods of having an IID installed and extended license suspensions lasting two years or more.

Special Cases: There are specific circumstances where IID requirements may vary. For instance, employees who drive a company’s vehicle for work may get special permission in certain situations. However, they must always obey the rules for reporting and following regulations.

Compliance and Installation

Following IID requirements includes installing, maintaining, and calibrating the device at a state-approved service center. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in extended suspension periods or additional penalties. Drivers must ensure they understand and adhere to the IID requirements to regain their driving privileges.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

If you get a DWI in Texas, it’s important to know about the Ignition Interlock Device rule. Following these rules can help you get your driving privileges back and make the roads safer. Talk to a lawyer who’s an expert in Texas DWI laws to help you through the legal process and meet all IID requirements. For professional legal assistance, reach out to the Texas Criminal Defense Group today.

If you face charges for DWI, you must adhere to Texas laws regarding Ignition Interlock Devices. Don’t delay—take the necessary steps to install an IID and secure your driving future.