When a Texan is arrested for driving while intoxicated, a conviction can carry with it many penalties that can make life difficult. That can include jail time, fines and the loss of driving privileges. Another penalty that can be problematic is the requirement that the driver install an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle. Knowing when this will be done, how it works and what the rules are is important. Similarly, it is important for a person who is confronted with DWI allegations to lodge a defense to avoid a conviction and keep from facing these onerous penalties and a negative perception in the community.
After a conviction for DWI, the judge can order the driver to use an ignition interlock device. With the ignition interlock device, the driver is required to blow into the machine before driving to determine if he or she has alcohol in his or her system and how high the blood-alcohol content is. If the driver’s BAC is above a certain level, the vehicle won’t start. It will then intermittently require that the driver blow into it again to ensure that there has not been any alcoholic consumption in the interim from when the vehicle was started.
The device will be paid for by the person who was convicted except in cases where it is not in the best interest of the state. If the person cannot pay for it, the court can order a reasonable payment schedule. The schedule will not go beyond twice the amount of time in the court order. The driver will be allowed to operate a vehicle with an ignition interlock device only in the following circumstances: if driving is necessary for the person’s employment; if the person’s employer owns the vehicle; if the person who has lost his or her driver’s license does not own or control the employer; if the employer has been informed of the restrictions on the person’s driver’s license; and if there is proof of that notification with the vehicle.
Having an ignition interlock on the vehicle the driver regularly uses is just another penalty that can be assessed after a drunk driving conviction. Since the penalties can negatively impact a person’s personal and professional life, it is important to do everything possible to get an acquittal or perhaps reduce the charges to avoid the stigma and cost associated with an ignition interlock device.