Are You Eligible for an Ignition Interlock Device After a DWI?

Texas has a process called Administrative License Revocation. If your blood alcohol concentration is higher than 0.08 or you refuse a breath test, your license may be confiscated or suspended immediately. This process is separate from the legal procedure determining criminal penalties for driving while intoxicated.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, an ignition interlock device allows for the restricted operation of a motor vehicle for certain individuals convicted of a DWI.

When can I get an ignition interlock device installed?

An ignition interlock device allows you to have a limited driver’s license, enabling you to retain your freedom if convicted of DWI. It is often a condition of probation or a bond, and you must meet specific criteria, including the following:

  • You must have a valid driver’s license
  • Your license cannot be canceled, suspended or revoked for any other reason
  • You pay the device license fees and all outstanding reinstatement fees

Installation of the device occurs after the Department of Public Safety receives the court order restricting your driving privileges.

How does an ignition interlock device work?

An ignition interlock device is essentially a breath test attached to your car. It interrupts the signal from the ignition to the starter. You must blow into the mouthpiece and test your blood alcohol concentration before starting the vehicle. The engine will not start if your BAC is higher than the levels programmed into the monitoring system.

You may also have to perform a retest at random intervals. The system allows you time to pull over and complete the test safely. The engine will not stop if you fail the test, but it will note the results in the log and warn you about the violation.

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