Even first-time DWI charges can come with stiff penalties in Texas. Law enforcement is cracking down on drunk drivers, and judges have no qualms about sending offenders to jail.
In addition to steep fines and time behind bars, a DWI conviction may involve a court order for the offender to install an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle. Lobbyist groups are pushing for this to become mandatory for first-time DUI offenders.
If police have arrested you for driving under the influence, contact John L. Corn, Attorney at Law. Dallas DUI attorney John L. Corn has tried more than 2,000 felony cases. He can evaluate your charges to identify a defense strategy that fits your unique circumstances.
To learn more about DUI penalties and ignition interlock devices, schedule a consultation with Mr. Corn today by calling at 214-528-4529, and read on to learn more about ignition interlock laws in Texas:
Restricted Interlock License
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, if a court convicts you of DUI, you may eventually receive a restricted interlock license. This license authorizes you to drive a car that is equipped with a certified ignition interlock device.
The Texas Department of Public Safety will not issue this license if:
- Your current license has expired
- A court has suspended your driver’s license
- You have not yet paid the associated interlock device fees
Fees Associated with Ignition Interlock Devices
According to Texas Statutes, if a judge orders an individual to fit an interlock device on his or her car, it must be at the person’s own expense. If you are unable to afford the device, the court may impose a payment schedule. The term of this schedule must not exceed the period stipulated in the court’s order.
You may also have to pay for the device’s upkeep and monitoring. Failure to do so, or to meet your payment terms, may result in additional penalties.
How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Work?
In order to start a car with an ignition interlock device, the driver has to breathe into the device for a BAC measurement. The driver will have to do this again after 5 minutes to keep the engine running. These breath tests will continue over the course of your journey in intervals of about 30 minutes.
Where Can I Install an Ignition Interlock Device?
Only DPS-certified facilities can install court-ordered ignition interlock devices. These centers must be certified by the Regulatory Services Division of DPS.
There are several potential defenses to DUI charges. In fact, it may be possible that police did not have the right to pull you over in the first place. The right defense can help mitigate penalties or possibly convince the court to drop the charges.
No two cases are identical, which is why Dallas DWI lawyer John L. Corn tailors each client’s defense strategy to the unique facts of their case. To start planning your defense, call our office today at 214-528-4529.