Perhaps you were driving home from happy hour with your co-workers when law enforcement stopped you on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
A Texas judge convicted you of DWI three years ago. Now the court may order you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.
Facing serious consequences
A conviction for driving while under the influence of alcohol carries significant penalties. Your first conviction may have resulted in a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days behind bars, depending on the details of your case and the success of your defense strategy.
Now that you are facing a second DWI conviction within a five-year period, you may have a fine of up to $4,000, mandatory jail time of one to 12 months and loss of driving privileges of up to two years. Once again, your defense strategy becomes a determining factor in how harsh the penalties will be.
Understanding the IID
You probably depend on your vehicle to get to and from your job and for many other reasons. Losing your driver’s license for two years is a worrisome prospect, but you may have an option.
The court may allow you to drive again after you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. The IID is a small device with a mouthpiece attached that wires to your ignition. The device measures your blood alcohol content level. You must blow into the mouthpiece and pass the BAC test showing that there is no alcohol in your system in order for the vehicle to start.
Obtaining a restricted license
The Texas Department of Public Safety will receive a court order that restricts your driving privileges to vehicles with an IID. You will have 30 days to acquire a restricted interlock driver’s license. After you have the IID in your vehicle and you have paid any outstanding reinstatement fees and the fee to obtain the restricted license, you may have to wait up to 21 business days while the department processes your request.