Many courts across the nation now are using ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in DWI cases. These devices may be an inconvenience for drivers who must have them in place in their vehicles, but they do permit individuals to maintain driving privileges, at least in a restricted manner. Ignition interlock devices in Fort Worth DWI cases can be essential to securing employment and financially supporting yourself in the aftermath of a DWI arrest.
IIDs may be discretionary or mandatory in DWI cases, depending on the situation. These devices can prevent individuals from driving while impaired by alcohol while avoiding the full impact of a total license suspension. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to use IIDs as an alternative for reducing the proposed penalties in eligible DWI cases.
DWI and Ignition Interlock Devices
After a DWI, courts may require drivers to install IIDs on every vehicle that they intend to drive, including work vehicles. A judge may order the installation of an IID after an arrest for DWI, especially if it is a second or subsequent offense. In this situation, installation of the IID would be a condition of bond.
Under Texas Penal Code § 49.09, individuals who are facing a second or subsequent DWI offense within five years are subject to the mandatory installation of an IID. This requirement lasts at least one year past the date on which drivers were able to reinstate their licenses following suspension. Failure to comply with this mandate is punishable by contempt of court proceedings.
How IIDs Work in Fort Worth
Drivers must blow into the IID before starting their vehicle, and the device measures and records their blood alcohol content. If the IID detects alcohol, the car is disabled temporarily. Drivers typically must bring the vehicle to the service provider for monthly maintenance. The service provider collects the data from the IID and transmits it to the court or probation office as needed.
The Financial Impact of IIDs
Installing and maintaining ignition interlock devices in DWI cases in Fort Worth can be expensive. For example, individuals first must pay license reinstatement and restricted interlock license fees to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Next, there is an installation fee for the IID, which can range from $50 to $200.
Once individuals have the IID installed, they are responsible for rental fees, which may be between $50 and $100 per month. Individuals with IIDs installed in their vehicles are also responsible for servicing and maintaining the device. When combined with the fees that courts may assess in a DWI case, as well as the annual surcharges that DPS charges under current Texas law, the financial impact of a DWI conviction can be significant.
Fort Worth Ignition Interlock Devices in DWI Cases
Although costly, ignition interlock devices are a way for some individuals to continue driving even after they have been arrested for DWI. Otherwise, their inability to drive may cause them to lose employment or be unable to attend school. Ignition interlock devices in Fort Worth DWI cases also may be an option for reducing the duration of a license suspension.
Losing your driving privileges can be a substantial hardship for you and your family, but driving with an IID may be a solution. For more information, contact an experienced DWI attorney today.