If you are a first-time offender convicted of a DWI in Texas, you will need to balance multiple concerns. One of these is ignition interlock devices. While all 50 states have laws regarding these devices if the courts find an individual guilty of DWI, they vary between locations.
In Texas, it is possible for the courts to require first-time DWI offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. According to the State of Texas, first time offenders must install an ignition interlock device if their blood alcohol level is above .15 or if the driver is under the age of 21.
What is an ignition interlock device?
Think of an ignition interlock device as a breathalyzer that a third-party company installs in your vehicle. Every time that you start the vehicle, the device will require you to breathe into it. If the ignition interlock device detects any alcohol on your breath, the car will not start. Once you successfully start the vehicle, it will occasionally indicate for you to breathe into it again. This proves you have not consumed any alcohol since starting the vehicle.
If the courts convict you of DWI and you must install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, it is unlawful for you to operate any vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device.
How long will I need to have an ignition interlock device?
The length of time you need to have an ignition interlock device depends upon your specific locale. Generally, this is up to the discretion of the court. Keep in mind that you are responsible for all costs associated with installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.