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Ignition Interlock Device Requirements in Texas

Were you convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in the state of Texas and ordered to use an ignition interlock device while operating a motor vehicle? If so, then you should be prepared to take a breath test any time you want to drive somewhere. In certain types of DWI cases, the judge might order that the convicted individual only be allowed to operate a motor vehicle when an ignition interlock device (also known as an IID) is installed in his or her vehicle. The restriction is set for designated time periods, during which the individual who is required to use the IID is given a restricted driver's license.

Here's how it works—whenever the convicted person wants to drive somewhere, that person will first need to blow into the ignition interlock device, which works much like a breathalyzer. (State law defines the ignition interlock device as a "deep-lung breath analysis mechanism.") If a clean sample (or a sample with a blood alcohol concentration below the preset limit) is submitted, the vehicle will start. If the breath sample does not pass the test, the vehicle will not start. Along with the initial breath test, the driver will also sometimes have to submit random tests while he or she is driving. This can be used as way to help ensure that the driver did in fact take his or her own test, and also ensure that the driver did not become intoxicated while driving. Those who are notified of IID restrictions typically have 30 days before their orders become effective.

There are many scenarios in which a judge is likely to order a driver to be under IID restriction. These scenarios are outlined in Texas Transportation Code §521.246. In the state of Texas, this order is given when someone has received two or more convictions—within 10 years—of DWI, intoxication assault (DWI causing injury) or intoxication manslaughter (DWI causing death) and has had his or her driver's license suspended. A person can also be ordered to use an IID restriction if his or her license has been suspended due to an enhanced DWI (particularly a felony DWI) conviction. The use of a state-approved ignition interlock device will be required for at least half of the convicted individual's period of supervision, according to the law.

There are some situations in which the convicted individual under the IID order will be allowed to operate a vehicle without the device installed. These situations include when the person is required to operate a vehicle as part of his or her employment, when the vehicle is owned by the employer, when the person with the restricted driving privileges does not own or control the employer, and when the employer is notified of the restrictions.

Besides being required take breath tests before operating vehicles, drivers required to use ignition interlock devices under court order are also required to pay for the costs of those devices. In cases in which an individual is unable to pay, the court might waive the individual's payment duties or set up a reasonable payment schedule.

Want to know more about Texas' ignition interlock device requirements and how they might affect you? I am a Collin County DWI lawyer who can help you answer your questions. Whether you are trying to challenge DWI charges or challenge allegations that you did not comply with your ignition interlock device requirements, I can provide you with the aggressive legal representation you need. Over the past seven years, I have handled various types of DWI cases and have brought more than 200 cases to trial. Call my office, The Law Office of Troy P. Burleson, for more information.

Categories: DWI
  • Recognition

    For Skill & Commitment

    I have been given the honor of inclusion on the list of Texas' Super Lawyers® as a Rising Star

    About Troy P. Burleson [+]
  • Guidance

    From a Knowledgeable Attorney

    The smallest mistake could dramatically and adversely affect the direction of your case.

    Top 10 DWI Mistakes [+]
  • Real Results

    That Changed Lives

    I have consistently won over 70% of the cases I represent. Read about my victories!

    Case Results [+]
  • Contact Us

    Request a Consultation

    You only have 15 days to save your license! Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

    Start Your Defense [+]