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When do Texas drivers need to install Ignition Interlock Devices in their vehicles?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2021 | Criminal Defense

In Texas, driving is a privilege not a right.  Losing your driving privileges is a common consequence after an arrest or conviction for a DWI/DUI. In Texas, driving while intoxicated (DWI) can lead to jail time, fines, probation, conviction, and a license suspension. The potential penalties increase with each subsequent offense which can include prison time for certain charges. Those with two or more previous DWIs can lose their license for two years because of a conviction.

Almost always, those accused of drunk driving will be able to get their licenses back and start driving again. Often, this process involves alcohol monitoring through the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in the vehicle(s) of the person convicted of a DWI or as ordered by the Court. The rules about IIDs are different in every state. When does Texas require that drivers install IIDs in their vehicles?

Most Texas Ignition Interlock Devices are part of the restricted license program

In some cases, you have to install an Interlock Device when you get your license back after a suspension has been served and/or when granted an Occupational License. In Texas, an Interlock Device is part of the restricted license program for those convicted of DWIs.

Losing your driver’s license can present a hardship that affects not only your job security but also your family. Drivers in Texas can resume limited driving if they qualify for a restricted license. You will have to install an IID in your vehicle to receive a restricted license. For as long as you have a restricted license, you may only legally drive your vehicle(s) that have an IID installed.

There are other times drivers may have to install an IID as well. For example, first-time DWI offenders seeking deferred adjudication will have to install an IID in their vehicle in some situations. Others will install an IID while on DWI-related probation.

Understanding the role of an IID after a DWI charge in Texas can help you better respond to those charges. Legal guidance can also help.