Like the majority of US states, Texas has a number of penalties for persons that drive after consuming alcohol or drugs. One such penalty is the ignition interlock device.
The purpose of the ignition interlock device is to physically prevent people from operating a motor vehicle after consuming drugs and alcohol. According to the CDC, states across the US see a 70% reduction in repeat DWI offenses when they have a robust ignition interlock program.
The definition of an ignition interlock device
An ignition interlock device is a machine in your car that evaluates the amount of alcohol you consume. A professional will connect the device to your car’s ignition system.
In order for you to turn on the car, you must first breathe into the device. If your blood alcohol level is too high, the car will not turn on. Ignition interlock devices will also require you to breathe into them occasionally while the car is in operation. This ensures that you have not consumed alcohol while the car was already running.
Texas laws and ignition interlock devices
Currently, Texas requires most second (or subsequent) offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. However, depending on the nature of the DWI offense, it is possible that the courts will require you to install an ignition interlock device after the first infraction. For instance, if you are under 21 or your blood alcohol level was above .15, Texas courts are likely to mandate an ignition interlock device after the first offense.
There are a multitude of penalties associated with Texas DWI. The best way to avoid them is to remain sober while you drive.