The court may order you to install an ignition block on your car if you are found guilty of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Once ordered to install such a device, you typically must wait until a specific time has passed before you can get the equipment removed.

If the court has not made a ruling yet in a drunk driving case, you may wish to consult with an attorney to see what you can do to protect yourself. Not all DWI cases in Odessa result in a requirement for an ignition interlock device (IID), but a skilled DWI lawyer may be able to help you determine if you are at risk. Call today to learn more about ignition interlock devices in Odessa DWI cases.

Law Related to Ignition Interlock Devices

An IID is meant to detect the presence of ethyl alcohol through a breathing test. If it detects alcohol, the owner’s car does not operate. The driver must show that the device is in the vehicle they work, and they cannot run a vehicle that does not have an IID, as stated in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §42A.408.

In recent years, the federal government has pushed for local governments to require that the court order IIDs for people convicted of DWI. Courts typically require installation under the following circumstances:

  • Second DWI conviction
  • Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at least 0.15
  • Intoxicated manslaughter or assault
  • Underage offenders

Guidelines for enhanced sentencing related to a subsequent offense within five years of a previous conviction are established in Texas Penal Code §49.09(h).

If required to install an IID after a DWI conviction, a driver must install the device on each car they own or operate. The magistrate may not release the driver on a bond without the installation, as noted in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §17.441. If the driver was under the legal drinking age, the court might require that person to attend an educational program as well, as described in Texas Transportation Code §521.342(b).

Additional Requirements

The court might require the installation of an IID if a DWI defendant requests to be released on bond before their case concludes. Usually, the court mandates that the IID must remain installed until the case is over, but it may require the IID to remain longer in certain circumstances.

Probation Requirement

If the court orders probation, the court may also require an ignition interlock device to detect the presence of alcohol in the driver’s breath. In such a situation, state law requires the IID to remain installed for at least half of a defendant’s probation period.

DWI and Unrestricted Occupational Drivers Licenses

The government may allow a driver convicted of DWI to have an unrestricted occupational driver’s license if they show proof they have installed an IID in their vehicle. The court may order that the IID remain in place until the period of license suspension is over.

Learn More About Ignition Interlock Devices in Odessa DWI Cases

If you are concerned about a pending legal matter which may result in you installing an IID, seeking out legal counsel may be a good idea. Any form of DWI conviction could dramatically affect your car insurance premiums, employment status, and your personal freedom, and you would also need to pay the cost to install and maintain an IID if ordered to do so.

The potential for courts to require ignition interlock devices in Odessa DWI cases should not be overlooked. Speak with a lawyer to explore how this type of punishment may play into your case.