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What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

Updated: Jul 9, 2023 @ 2:23 pm

Less than 1 minute Reading Time: Minutes

One of the worst repercussions of a DWI is having your license suspended. People need to get to work and school or attend critical medical appointments. Public transportation just isn’t feasible for many people in Texas, and losing your job will only make life harder.

Fortunately, an ignition interlock device might be what you need to get back into a vehicle—and to move forward with your life. Contact a Houston DWI attorney at The Law Offices of Tad A. Nelson & Associates to discuss whether you qualify for this option.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

Also called an IID for short, this is a small device which consists of a mouthpiece, handheld unit, relay cord, and camera unit. A good way to think of it is as a portable breathalyzer. It measures your breath for alcohol content.

Typically, you will blow into the IID for a few seconds. Some devices only require a single blow, while others require two blows. If your BAC is below a pre-set limit, the car will start and you can drive. Many devices require that you periodically take tests while the car is in motion. This obviously increases the risk of a distracted driving accident, but the state obviously thinks DWI is the more serious risk.

If you fail the test because you ingested too much alcohol, then your car will not start. It is a good device for stopping an intoxicated driver from driving. However, the device cannot stop your car once you have started. Instead, the device might trigger lights to start flashing or the horn to sound—something which could draw the attention of law enforcement.

Does Texas Require an IID?

If this is your second DWI conviction, you’ll need to install an IID. You might also need one as a first-time offender if you were caught with a very high BAC (.15% or higher).

The primary benefit of an IID, however, is that the state is letting you drive again. There would be no reason to install the device unless you were permitted to get behind the wheel even with a DWI conviction. We can’t emphasize enough how lucky you are if you can get an IID. It is best to do everything possible so that you don’t lose your driving privileges again.

Can I Get an IID?

If your license was suspended for DWI, you might be eligible. You need a valid Texas driver’s license and no unpaid fines on your driving record. Your suspension must also be for DWI and not something else.

The Texas Department of Public Safety must install the device, which you’ll pay for. You will also need to pay to continue to use the device. However, with some careful planning, you can get back on the road and minimize life interruptions.

Need Help With Your Case?

Contact Tad Nelson & Associates

Our DWI defense attorney will discuss all options with clients, including whether to request the installation of an IID. Call Tad Nelson today to schedule a consultation to get started.

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A Nelson is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the TBLS.

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