Anyone who has been accused of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense in Texas could be at risk of incarceration, financial penalties and license suspension. Occasionally, the restrictions on someone’s driving privileges won’t only involve a temporary inability to drive. The state could also potentially require that a motorist install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle when they regain their driving privileges.
An IID can be both embarrassing and expensive. Individual motorists have to pay for the installation of the device and its maintenance. They also have to perform a test every time they start their vehicles and cannot legally drive vehicles without an IID installed until the state lifts the restrictions on their license.
Repeat and aggravated offenses lead to IID requirements
Impaired driving is one of the criminal offenses that people tend to commit repeatedly. The recidivism rate is quite high, especially among those with an unaddressed alcohol abuse issue. To help protect the public and instill better habits in those who have committed more than one DWI offense, it is common for the courts to order the installation of an IID after someone’s second or subsequent DWI conviction.
However, someone doesn’t need to face a second or third DWI charge to end up subject to an IID requirement in Texas. The state sometimes orders the installation of an IID when someone has pending felony DWI charges. Other reasons a first-time DWI could lead to an IID requirement include being a minor at the time of the offense or having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15% or higher.
Protecting driving privileges often means going to court
Both IID requirements and license suspensions related to DWI charges can create significant challenges for the people accused. The only means of eliminating licensing penalties after a DWI arrest is to successfully defend against the allegations.
Those who have been accused of impaired driving in Texas frequently plead guilty to their charges and then have to deal with numerous lasting consequences, including effects on their driving privileges. Seeking legal guidance and defending against DWI charges is often the better option for those who want to retain their licenses and avoid escalating penalties in the future.