In summer of 2015, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a potentially game-changing law regarding driving after a DWI conviction. DWI convicts will now be able to have more freedom to drive as long as they opt for the installation of ignition interlocks onto their vehicles. This groundbreaking legislation means more DWI convicts will be able to keep up their work and school obligations despite their past record.
How Ignition Interlocks Work
An ignition interlock is installed via the glove department on the passenger’s side of your vehicle. The installer proceeds to hardwire the device into the car’s ignition system. A handheld sensor is then hooked up to the dashboard of the car. When you are ready to drive, you must first blow about 1 ½ liters of air through the sensor. For the car to start, the alcohol content in your breath must be below the preset threshold. In most cases, the blood alcohol content must not be above 0.04 for the vehicle to operate. To prevent false readings, the system is outfitted with temperature gauges for accuracy.
Under Texas law, the ignition interlock system must be installed at a Texas Department of Public Safety certified facility. You will also need a valid restricted interlock license to operate a vehicle with one of the devices installed. Furthermore, to obtain the special license in Texas, you’ll need to pay any reinstatement fees and the fee to add the interlock restriction to your reinstated license.
What Texas DWI Convicts Need to Know
Not everyone with a past DWI conviction will be able to drive under the new ignition interlock law in Texas. Eligibility for the law is exclusive to those who had a blood alcohol content of less than 0.15 at the time of their arrests. In prior legislation, a license suspension was automatic unless the judge on the case allowed for an exception. The new law is intended to decrease the number of DWI convicts who continue to drive, even with a suspended license.
Ignition interlocks have also been recommended by judges in cases of individuals who have subsequent DWI convictions or where blood alcohol content of the convict was above .15. As part of the offender’s probation terms, he would need to install the interlock device on all vehicles he owns up to one year following license reinstatement.
Clancy & Clancy Attorneys at Law are here to help with any questions you have about DWI charges in the Dallas area. We have defended clients in a large number of DWI cases and provide you with the best possible representation. Contact us by phone at (214) 740-9955 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.