Houston Criminal Defense Attorney

Texas' ignition interlock law for drunk driving convictions

A drunk driving conviction can result in a number of severe penalties under Texas law. These penalties include license suspension, stiff fines and possible incarceration. In addition to these penalties, an individual convicted of certain drunk driving offenses may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. The device prevents the car from starting until the driver blows into a tube attached to the device. If the driver has consumed alcohol, the car will not start.

The judge may require an ignition interlock device as part of the sentence if the individual's license was suspended for DWI, intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter. If the individual has been convicted two or more times of any combination of these three offenses, and at least one of the convictions was within the last ten years, the ignition interlock requirement is mandatory. Installation of the device is also mandatory if the individual was convicted and received an enhanced sentence for a drunk driving offense.

Those who are ordered to have an interlock device on their vehicles are required to pay for the devices themselves. If the court finds they are unable to afford it, the court may allow payment in installments. The individual is required to keep the device on their vehicle for at least half of the time period they are under post-conviction supervision by the court.

The possibility of being required to have an ignition interlock device is just one more reason to fight drunk driving charges with an aggressive defense. An experienced DWI defense attorney can help those who are facing these charges.

Source: State of Texas Legislature, "Tex. Trans. Code § 521.246," accessed on Jan. 25, 2015