Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) build on the same technology long employed by police officers to conduct chemical breath tests in the field. After its installation in a vehicle, an IID prevents someone from starting the vehicle until they pass a chemical breath test.

Having an IID in your car can be embarrassing. If anyone else rides with you or sees you starting your vehicle, they will know that you have had a drunk driving issue in the past. An IID will also be expensive. You not only have to pay for its installation but for regular maintenance.

When does the state of Texas require that you install an IID in your vehicle?

Alcohol-related driving offenses lead to IID requirements

Although the installation of an IID may seem like a frustrating punishment, it is a less-impactful alternative to simply taking away your license. Those recently convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses will have an obligation to install an IID in their vehicle and to only drive vehicles that have IIDs installed in them.

Even a first DWI could lead to IID requirements if you want to continue driving after the offense.

In fact, the judge could also suspend your license in addition to requiring you to install an IID in any vehicle you will drive when you get your license back. If your sentence does include the suspension of your license, you can potentially apply for an occupational license. This will allow you to drive for work or other basic necessities.

Avoiding a conviction may be the only way to avoid an IID

Given that your consequences for pleading guilty or getting convicted of a DWI will usually include either the suspension of your license or the requirement to install an IID, possibly both, fighting that drunk driving charge may be the only real way to protect your driving privileges.

There are many strategies available to those facing DWI charges, ranging from questioning the legality of the traffic stop to challenging the accuracy of the breath test results that form the cornerstone of the prosecution’s case. Understanding the penalties associated with the Texas DWI charge might give you a good reason to fight back against those charges.