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What are the ignition interlock laws in TX?

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2021 | Drunk Driving |

There is a multitude of penalties associated with a DWI charge in Texas. One of them is the Texas courts requiring you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle after certain kinds of DWI offenses.

While all 50 states have ignition interlock devices, the particularities can vary between them. According to the Texas Association of Counties, Texas requires a convicted person to install ignition interlock devices in most DWI cases, even first offenses.

Understanding the purpose of an ignition interlock device

Ignition interlock devices are essentially breathalyzers installed in your car. In order to start your vehicle, you will need to blow a breath sample into the device. If the ignition interlock device detects any alcohol on your breath, the car will not start. Ignition interlock devices also require you to breathe into the device periodically while driving.

In the event that the courts require that you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, you are responsible for all costs associated with the process. Typically, an ignition interlock device in Texas will cost between $65 and $95 per month. The price depends on multiple factors including what features the courts require your device to have (GPS, etc) and how long you will need to have it in your vehicle.

Specific ignition interlock requirements

Any individual the courts find guilty in Texas of a second or subsequent DWI offense must install an ignition interlock device. This is a condition of the bond as well as probation. It is also possible for the courts to require you to install an ignition interlock device for a first offense if your blood alcohol concentration is above 0.15 or if you are under 21 during the offense.