Do I Need to Get an Ignition Interlock Device?

Will my DWI Case Cause Me to Get an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device (IID) may be an unfortunate consequence of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge. DWIs are unique charges because sentencing incorporates many different conditions. Installing an IID is just one possibility. For those who are repeat DWI offenders, it is most likely that a judge will order the installation of the device.

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device is quite similar to a breathalyzer. However, the key difference it is in your car. When installed, this device requires that you submit a breath sample before you can start the car. The purpose of the device is to deter DWI offenders from drinking alcohol. Whenever the device any alcohol, it locks down the engine.

These devices are a hassle for daily life, not to mention both embarrassing and expensive. When sentenced to install the device, you are expected to pay for the installation as well as the monthly rental costs. That’s why it is so vital for you to have an experienced Houston DWI lawyer on your side. With the right representation, you lawyer is an advocate who can fight to reduce your charges and help you avoid costly punishments like the IID.

Texas Law and IIDs

As we’ve mentioned before, Texas takes drunk driving very seriously. The DWI laws concerning the ignition interlock device are located under the Transportation Code and Penal Code. Oftentimes, first-time offenders do not face an IID penalty. Some judges consider a first-time DWI as an uncharacteristic lapse in judgment and allow some leeway. However, it is vital that you have a Houston DWI lawyer on your side to fight for the best potential outcome.

For repeat offenders, Texas Penal Code § 49.04(h) states that a second or subsequent DWI within 5 years of your first offense requires the installation of an IID. Moreover, it requires the installation of an IID on every operable vehicle that you own. This means you face mounting costs that you have to bear for months to come.

Aggravated DWI cases may lead to the installation of an ignition interlock device as well. Circumstances such as child passengers or a BAC of .15 turn a DWI into an aggravated DWI. When you are charged with an aggravated DWI, judges are more likely to impose IID requirements.

Vehicles You Might Be Able to Drive Without an IID

  • The vehicle is used for work.
  • An employer owns the vehicle.
  • You have no control or authority over your employers.
  • Your employer is aware of your driving restriction.
  • There is proof of notification kept in the work vehicle.

Your Houston DWI Lawyer and Ignition Interlock Devices

When you or someone you know is charged with drunk driving, it is vital that you seek out experienced legal counsel. In Texas, a DWI is serious charge with severe consequences that range from fines to incarceration. Moreover, you could wind up with an ignition interlock device that restricts your ability to move freely through Harris County.

Call on the expert team at The Martinez Law Firm to speak with an experienced Houston DWI lawyer. At our criminal defense firm, we understand the ins and outs of Texas DWI cases. Our criminal defense attorneys know how to evaluate cases and map out defense plans that work. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your options.

At The Martinez Law Firm, we represent clients throughout Houston and Harris County to ensure they have the advocacy that DWI charges require. Reach out today and let us show you how can protect your future.