Ignition Interlock Devices: Inconvenience and Invasion
An Inconvenient Consequence
License suspensions are an unavoidable reality for all those with Texas DWI convictions. Perhaps the most life-altering consequence of a DWI, a license suspension can make it difficult if not impossible to get to work or school or take care of your family. Even when you reinstate your license after your suspension, the judge could order you to install an ignition interlock device in your car.
The Ins and Outs of IIDs
Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are inconvenient and highly invasive. They work essentially as a breathalyzer, which is wired into the car’s ignition system. The motorist must blow into the device, and if there are any traces of alcohol on his or her breath, the device will prevent the ignition from firing. Defendants will typically be required to install an IID in every vehicle they own for one year following the initial license suspension.
Most first-time offenders will escape the ignition interlock requirement unless their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .15% or higher or they caused an accident, or injured or killed someone. Judges are more liberal with this specific penalty, however, when sentencing defendants with prior DWIs on their record, particularly if they have prior DWI convictions with high BACs.
Earning a Second Chance
First-time DWI offenders may be given an incentive; if they install and successfully use an IID in their car for six months, they can petition the court for a Nondisclosure. Nondisclosures effectively remove the conviction from your record. This is touted as a “second chance” for first-time DWI offenders who have a BAC of .08%-.14% and do not cause property damage or injure or kill anyone.
IIDs have proven to be effective in reducing DWI recidivism, which is an ongoing battle Texas law enforcement face. But they come at a significant cost in terms of money and time for defendants. Even with the new incentive for first-time DWI offenders, we still urge those facing DWI charges to speak with a DWI defense attorney prior to pleading.
You may think because an IID will allow you to petition for a Nondisclosure after six months that pleading guilty is your best option. In reality, the costs associated with a DWI, including court-mandated fines, increased insurance rates and numerous fees and surcharges to keep your license, are not worth it. It’s best to speak with a Dallas DWI defense attorney about your options before consigning yourself to six months or more of invasive monitoring.
If you’re facing charges for DWI/DUI in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to fight your charges. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.