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Drunk driving penalty contributes to distracted driving

The laws in Texas concerning drunk driving are tough indeed. A person convicted of a driving while intoxicated offense might find themselves forced to pay high fines and court fees, spend time in jail, attend substance treatment programs, or even lose the right to drive for a while. The lack of driving privileges can cause an excessive hardship for people as it may prevent them from being able to get to and from work or school. Depending on the nature of a person’s offense, they may qualify to install and use an ignition interlock device in order to reinstate their driving privileges after a DWI. 

In Texas, a driver might actually be required to use an IID even for a first DWI offense if their blood alcohol content was 0.15% or greater at the time of their arrest. For any repeat DWI offense regardless of BAC, a driver may be mandated to use an ignition interlock device. Underage drivers convicted of drunk driving charges may also be subject to the IID requirement. To qualify for a restricted interlock license, a driver’s license must not have been revoked or suspended for a reason other than the DWI and it must not be expired at the time. 

The IID prevents a person from starting a vehicle unless they have provided a clean breath sample. The objective of the device is to prevent a person convicted of drunk driving from repeating the behavior, therefore theoretically improving safety on the roads. 

As reported by Car and Driver magazine, there is evidence that links multiple vehicle accidents to a driver’s use of an IID when taking rolling retests while driving, which is required by the program. 


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