What is an Ignition Interlock in Texas?

If you have been convicted of DWI in Texas, you will likely have to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle.

This device effectively functions as a breathalyzer, detecting whether or not you have alcohol in your system before you can start your car.

Following a DWI conviction, you may be able to obtain a restricted interlock license, which allows you to operate a car or truck with an IID.

A Kingwood, Texas DWI defense attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been charged with any type of drunk driving offense.

How Does it Work?

An IID, which is connected to your vehicle’s ignition, essentially prevents you from starting your engine if it detects alcohol on your breath.

You blow into the device, which in turn analyzes your breath using fuel cell technology.

If the device registers that you are over the predetermined allowed level of alcohol, your vehicle will not start.

To prevent a sober person from starting the car and then beginning to consume alcohol once they are driving, the IID will prompt the driver to retest at random intervals throughout the drive.

If one of the retests detects alcohol, the car will not just come to an abrupt, and dangerous stop.

Instead, the positive test result will be logged, and some systems will cause the car alarm to sound or headlights to begin flashing.

IID Cost and Service Requirements

If you are required to have an IID installed following a DWI, you will be responsible to pay all associated installation costs, and they can be quite expensive.

Further, your IID will need to be regularly calibrated to keep it in good working order.

These calibrations are also your financial responsibility.

In Texas, you are required to have your IID serviced every 30 days.

An unserviced unit may result in a permanent lock which can only be remedied by having your vehicle towed to the installer for service.

How Long Do I Have to Keep My Ignition Interlock Device in Texas?

Although the length of time you must have your IID varies based on multiple factors, including whether this is your first or subsequent DWI, the minimum for first offenders is six months in Texas.

An IID cannot be removed without authorization from the court.

Following receipt and processing of this authorization, you will become eligible for removal within 48 hours.

It is important to take excellent care of your IID, as you are financially responsible for it as long as it is in your possession.

Contact the Law Office of Andrew J. Williams Today

If you have been charged with DWI, the skilled legal team at the Law Office of Andrew J. Williams can help.

We understand that people make mistakes, and we want to help you move on with your life.

Don’t make another mistake by hiring the wrong attorney.

Our experienced legal team understands the complexities of Texas DWI cases, and we have an impressive track record of getting our clients’ charges reduced, or dismissed entirely.

Contact the Law Office of Andrew J. Williams today at 281-358-9111 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

Andrew Williams, an experienced attorney who can challenge evidence in a DWI case
About the Author: Andrew Williams
I am a criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years experience defending people accused of wrongdoing. I am board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Only ten percent of attorneys in Texas are board certified in their respective field. I practice criminal law exclusively in both state and federal court including appeals of criminal cases.