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3 things to know about Texas DWI interlock devices

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Penalties for drunk driving in Texas may include substantial fines, suspension or revocation of driving privileges or even jail time. A conviction does not necessarily prohibit a defendant from driving. In some cases, the court might order an individual convicted of DWI to install an interlock ignition device (IID) on his or her vehicle.  

An IID is a device that prevents a car from starting unless the driver passes a breath test. Understanding IID laws can help a driver who has a DWI on his or her record get life back on track. Failing a test can cause additional legal problems. 

Myths versus facts regarding Texas IID laws following a DWI 

 There are three important facts about IIDs, which can help dispel common myths about these systems:  

  • Many people think that Texas judges only order installment of IIDs when a person has incurred two or more DWI convictions. This is false, as there are circumstances when a judge might order installment for a first offense as well.  
  • The blood alcohol content level (BAC) for legal operation of motor vehicles in Texas is .08, which leads many people to believe that the same is true for starting a car that has an IID installed. In fact, IIDs are set to prevent starting a vehicle for BACs of .03 or higher.  
  • Some people think they can trick an IID by having a friend blow into the device to pass the breath test. What they might fail to realize is that many Texas counties require camera installation along with the device, so that if someone else takes the test to start the car, the individual doing so is captured on film.  

While a successful test enables a driver to start the vehicle, rolling re-tests are also required, meaning the driver must test again as required.  

Avoid IID problems after a DWI conviction 

It is always best to rely on experienced legal guidance when facing DWI charges in Texas. An attorney can also make sure a defendant understands IID regulations. If legal issues arise while an IID is installed, an attorney can help resolve them.