The short answer to this question is “maybe.”
Ultimately, whether a driver will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in his or her vehicle depends on the facts of the case. In making these decisions, courts will, for instance, look to a driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) at the time of arrest, as well as his or her prior criminal record.
While they can be expensive to obtain and a hassle to use, IIDs often provide the only way that drivers who have been convicted of DWI can get to work, school, and fulfill day-to-day duties.
To learn more about whether you could benefit from the use of, or are required to install an IID, please contact one of our experienced Houston DWI attorneys today.
What are Ignition Interlock Devices?
Ignition interlock devices (IIDs), are alcohol breath testers that are connected to a vehicle’s ignition system. Once installed, IIDs won’t allow a car to start until someone breathes into the device with alcohol-free breath, a process that involves blowing into a small handheld unit located near the driver’s seat.
Unfortunately, these devices aren’t cheap, as they come with installation costs, monthly fees, and even a removal fee. Fortunately, drivers who cannot afford these devices are often allowed to enter into payment plans that can significantly defray these costs.
Which DWI Offenders Must Install IIDs?
Under Texas law, only DWI offenders who have committed second and subsequent DWI violations are actually required to install an IID as a condition of bond or probation. First time offenders, however, can also be ordered to install an IID as a condition of probation if they:
- Were arrested with a BAC of .15 percent or higher; or
- Are under the age of 21 years old.
How long a person is required to keep an IID installed in his or her vehicle is ultimately up to a judge. However, for most first time DWI offenses with a BAC of .08 or higher, courts require drivers to use an IID for between 90 days and a year. Second offenses, on the other hand, could require use for anywhere from six months to two years.
Ignition Interlock Violations
Committing an IID violation comes with serious penalties, including the revocation of a person’s license and even jail time. Common violations include:
- Tampering with the ignition interlock device;
- Driving a vehicle without an IID installed in it;
- Missing an IID service appointment;
- Registering a BAC above the preset limit when attempting to start the car; and
- Skipping or failing a rolling retest.
It’s also important to note that most IIDs are now also equipped with cameras and GPS, so they’re able to detect when someone other than the driver blows into the device, another serious violation.
Need Legal Counsel Related to DWI Cases & IIDs?
Call Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A. Nelson Today!
If a court has asked you to install an IID in your vehicle, or you’re being charged with violating the terms of your IID agreement, contact the dedicated DWI lawyers at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today. We can help. 713-489-7373.