For more than a year drivers whose license has been suspended for their first DWI, have been able to keep on driving if they have an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.
The change followed Governor Greg Abbott signing House Bill 2246 into law. The new legislation took effect on September 1, 2015.
It gives you the chance to continue driving on an occupational license if you have been convicted of your first DWI and you have an ignition interlock device fitted.
The law means all drivers who get behind the wheel during their license suspension period must have an ignition interlock device.
It has been welcomed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which claims ignition interlock devices reduce drunk driving by as much as 45 percent.
A report on Chron stated Texas had the largest drunk driving problem in the nation in 2013.
In that year, the Lone Star State recorded 1,337 drunk driver deaths, accounting for 40 percent of all deaths on the state’s roads.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device prevents a vehicle from starting if its driver has been drinking alcohol. It operates like a breathalyzer. The device measures the alcohol in a person’s system. If the level of alcohol on the driver’s breath exceeds the pre-programmed level set on the device, the interlock temporarily locks the vehicle’s ignition.
In order to take advantage of the law you have to obtain a restricted interlock license, states Texas Department of Public Safety. You can operate a vehicle as long as you have an ignition interlock device fitted.
If your license has been suspended due to a DWI conviction, as part of your order the judge may restrict the operation of a motor vehicle to one equipped with an ignition interlock device.
Usually, the defendant will have to pay the fees associated with the installation of the interlock device.
Although obtaining an ignition interlock may seem like a bureaucratic process, it has the advantage of allowing a first time DWI offender to drive while his or her license might otherwise have been suspended.
You can obtain an occupational license without setting out essential reasons why you need to drive.
The two things you need to establish are:
1 Evidence of financial responsibility.
2 Proof of an interlock ignition device.
At the Medlin Law Firm we work to obtain effective resolution of driving license issues after a DWI conviction. We can help you with ignition interlock questions.