Understanding Texas' New Ignition Interlock Requirements

DWI law

Are you a first-time DWI offender? Texas has passed a new law that will affect your case.

Effective now, every person who is convicted of drunk driving will have to install an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle. Previously, only repeat offenders or first-time offenders who had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher would have to use the device. The new law states that on any first or subsequent DWI offense, the court will mandate that the defendant install the ignition interlock.

Once the Texas Department of Public Safety receives the court order to restrict your license, it will cancel your current driver’s license privileges effective 30 days from the date you receive notice. You will have to pay the fee to obtain your restricted interlock license as well as paying for the device to be installed. You may also have to obtain SR-22 insurance certification to verify that you have insurance coverage.

Find more information on DWI penalties, hearings, and defense strategies in our DWI information center.

The ignition interlock device will be attached to any vehicle you drive, which can include a work vehicle. You will have to blow into the device and register an alcohol level below the set point in order to start the car. While the car is running, the device can request random breath tests. The result of every blow is sent to the DPS. Failing a test may not only result in a car that will not start, but it could also lead to a longer period of time for your restricted license.

Defending your DWI or DUI charge is an integral part of avoiding complications such as these. For more information about this topic, please visit our page on drunk driving charges.

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