First Time DUI Offenders May Soon Have The Option Of An Ignition Interlock Device

Getting An Interlock Device Instead of Being Locked Up

Those convicted for the first time of driving under the influence (DUI) in Texas, may soon have an ignition interlock option if Governor Greg Abbott decides to sign a bill making it a possibility.

The bill has already passed the state legislature and is headed to the governor’s desk to receive his signature making it law, according to a Houston Morning News article.

Currently, first-time DUI offenders in Texas face a range of penalties, including the suspension of their driver’s license, jail time, alcohol counseling, and fines. If the bill is signed into law, it’ll give drivers the ability to retain their driving privileges provided that they agree to pay for and allow an ignition interlock device to be installed on their vehicle. It will be up to a judge to decide whether or not to allow any particular driver to have this option.

Unless changed by this bill, Texas only allows ignition interlock devices as an option for drivers who have had multiple DUI convictions or whose blood alcohol concentration was very high. If enacted, the bill will make the devices an option for any driver convicted of a DWI violation.

Ignition interlock devices are connected directly to the vehicle’s ignition system. In order to start the vehicle, the driver must provide a breath sample. If alcohol is detected in the sample provided, the vehicle won’t start.

Although the device provides driving options to those who would otherwise not have the option to operate a motor vehicle, it does impose some obstacles and costs. The driver, who may already be facing expensive fines and court fees following a DUI conviction, also has to agree to accept the financial cost of installing the device and having it monitored and later removed.

Following a DUI first-offense arrest or conviction, getting your driving privileges restored can be a very complex process. In Texas, you have the option of hiring an experienced DUI defense lawyer who can help you to restore your driving privileges without the requirement of an ignition interlock device, by building the best possible case for your individual circumstances. If you’ve been arrested on the suspicion of DUI, call a DUI defense lawyer or contact us today to learn more about what they can do for you.