Legal Defenses of Ways How to Avoid Ignition Interlock Device Requirement in The Lone Star State of TX
Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, Arlington, Waco, and all other cities in the state of Texas have the same DWI and April 2023 TX Ignition Interlock laws that govern the act of driving while intoxicated charges and offenses. Any driver found to be operating a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more will be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).
Should drivers later be found guilty and convicted of this crime, they are then subject to a number of 2023 DWI penalties of a conviction including monetary fines, a suspended TX driver’s license, and the possibility of having to get and install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in order to legally drive in the state.
However, there are still DWI arrest-specific defenses that can work in time to provide the best ways how to get out of ignition interlock device installation in Texas.
Almost all states in the US have adopted a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 as the threshold for individuals to be charged with drinking and driving related crimes. This comes as a result of research that looked at the effects of alcohol consumption on one’s ability to drive. This research showed most drivers were too impaired to operate a vehicle when their BAC was 0.05 percent and all drivers were too impaired to operate a vehicle when their BAC was 0.08 percent.
Additionally, the state of Texas charges commercial drivers with DWI if their BAC is at or above 0.04 percent. Since the new laws that impose high costs an penalties are so severe I convicted, it is all that much more important to have an arrest examined online with us as soon as possible. This is the essential first step to take in getting help, which could possibly provide ways how to avoid the Ignition Interlock requirement, as well as prevent a license from being suspended after a DWI offense charge in TX.
What Are the Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated or Under The Influence in Texas?
As mentioned previously, drivers convicted of DWI in the state of Texas find themselves facing a number of different penalties. One of the newer penalties is the requirement to have to install an Ignition Interlock device, even if the conviction is for a first-time DWI or DUI offense.
This variety of punishments is meant to discourage drivers from drinking and driving again and also act as an example for others. For drivers on their 1st time offense, meaning they have no previous DWI convictions, the penalties they have to contend with include:
- Fines Up to $2,000 (unless individual under 15 is present)
- TX Driver’s License Suspension Time Period of 90 Days to One Year
- Minimum Jail Sentence of Three to 180 Days
- Having to Install an Ignition Interlock Device a Minimum of 6 Months to 1 Year on Average
Second DWI offense, repeat offenders often will face much harsher penalties when convicted of the charges. A repeat offender is any driver charged and convicted of DWI or DUI in the past, and in the state of Texas, there is no lookback period – which means all previous offenses will also be counted against a driver. For drivers on their 2nd offense, meaning they have one previous DWI conviction, the penalties they must contend with include:
- Fines Up to $4,000 (unless individual under 15 is present) Driver’s License Suspension Period of 180 Days to Two Years Minimum Jail Sentence of 30 Days to One Year Ignition Interlock Installation Will Be Required for License Reinstatement
For drivers on their third DWI offense in TX, meaning they have two previous DWI or DUI charge convictions, the penalties they have to contend with include:
- Fines Up to $10,000
- Driver’s License Suspension Period of 180 Days to Two Years
- Minimum Jail Sentence of Two Years
- DWI Ignition Interlock Device is Required for Texas Driver’s License Reinstatement
What is an Ignition Interlock Device, and How Does It Work With New DWI Laws in TX?
The Ignition Interlock for a DWI in Texas, is a mechanical device installed in a DWI or DUI offender’s vehicle and in some cases, any vehicle registered in his or her name. This means that in many cases, a driver will need to install the Interlock device on any company car or vehicle they driver for their job.
How this device works is very similar to the Breathalyzer device used by law enforcement in that it measures the user’s BAC, except an IID is connected to the vehicle’s ignition system. In order for drivers to start the car, they need to blow into the Interlock device and provide a breath sample – should this sample be above the threshold, the car does not start.
A car Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock device can also be programmed to require drivers to provide breath samples after the vehicle has already started – this is done to ensure the initial breath sample is not given by another party in order to get the vehicle started.
When the device indicates it requires another sample, drivers need to provide that sample even if the vehicle’s ignition is on. Should this additional sample be above the threshold, usually set to 0.02 percent, the IID logs the event in its internal memory, and an alarm sounds, indicating to drivers the vehicle needs to be turned off.
When is Having to Use an Ignition Interlock Device Required in the State of Texas?
The state of Texas has approved the use of the Ignition Interlock for certain drinking and driving offenders. Courts can approve the leasing, installation, maintenance, and use of car Breathalyzer device as a condition of having offenders’ driving privileges reinstated under the following 3 types of common DWI circumstances:
- First time DWI offenders applying for an occupational TX driver’s license.
- Second time and subsequent DWI or DUI offenders within a 10-year period can only operate a vehicle equipped with an Ignition Interlock device.
- Second time DWI offense drivers or those with a BAC of 0.15 percent or more are required to use an Interlock for a full year after their driver’s license suspension has ended.
Who is Responsible for the Paying for the Total Cost of the TX Ignition Interlock Device?
In most, if not all, DWI cases where a judge approves the use of Ignition Interlock device in TX, it is the offender’s responsibility to saddle the costs associated with installing and using the device. Often times, individuals pay between $75 and $125 in fees a month to lease the device, around $100 to have the device installed, and some additional fees for the device’s maintenance. It is important to keep in mind these are just rough cost estimates – some Texas Interlock providers may charge more or less, and some may even offer free installation.
What is the Process of Having to Get and Install the Ignition Interlock Device in Texas?
Once the court has approved TX DWI offenders to install an Ignition Interlock device, offenders need to begin the process of obtaining that device. First, they need to lease the device from an Interlock provider who is approved by the state of Texas – these approved providers can be found all over the state, and a full list of these companies can also be found on the Texas Department of Public Safety website. It is very important to choose an approved provider in order to remain within the state’s guidelines for IID use.
After the car Breathalyzer Interlock device has been leased, it needs to be installed in the offender’s vehicle – again, depending on the nature of the case, it is possible offenders are ordered to have DWI Interlock device installed in all vehicles registered to them. As with finding a state approved IID provider, it is also important to ensure the device is professionally installed to the state’s standards. When this process is completed, offenders may need to report back to the court and/or their probation officer with a copy of the device’s lease agreement and a receipt for installation.
Due to how much the cost of a conviction is, we understand why the first concerns those charged with a DWI offense in Texas have is “will I need to have an Ignition Interlock device on my car, and is my driver’s license going to get suspended?”
Once a TX Ignition Interlock attorney reviews a individual’s own arrest situation online with us as to what took place, they can then be able let a driver know of any defense options. After getting arrested for DWI in Texas, an online review of arrest-specific defense strategies can work fast for the best legal ways how to avoid and get out of Ignition Interlock device installation in:
Deaf Smith County
El Paso County
Fort Bend County
Jeff Davis County
Jim Hogg County
Jim Wells County
La Salle County
Live Oak County
Palo Pinto County
Red River County
San Augustine County
San Jacinto County
San Patricio County
San Saba County
Tom Green County
Val Verde County
Van Zandt County
Fair Oaks Ranch
Gun Barrel City
Homestead Meadows North
Homestead Meadows South
Hunters Creek Village
North Richland Hills
Rio Grande City
West University Place
A driver arrested for DWI will learn every legal defense that works for ways how to avoid and get out of ignition interlock device installation after a first DWI offense in TX.