Driving while intoxicated is a serious matter in Texas, which is why the state has enacted harsh penalties for those who break the law. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your DWI case, the law may require you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle if you wish to continue driving.

However, not all situations mandate ignition interlock devices after a DWI conviction. According to the Texas Association of Counties, ignition interlock devices are mandatory for persons who have more than one DWI conviction.

What is an ignition interlock device?

A third-party company will install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, and it acts like a breathalyzer. When you want to operate the car, you must first breathe into the ignition interlock device. If it detects any alcohol on your breath, the car will not start.

Once the car has started and is in operation, the device will occasionally indicate for you to breathe into it again. This is to ensure that no alcohol consumption occured after turning on the vehicle. The idea behind an ignition interlock device is that it helps stop drunk driving before it starts.

Can a first-time DWI offense require an ignition interlock device?

In certain circumstances, yes. First time offenders who have more than 0.15 blood alcohol concentration must install an ignition interlock device. If the driver is under the age of 21, ignition interlock device installation is also required.

If you need to install an ignition interlock device, you are responsible for all costs associated with it. Additionally, orders for ignition interlock devices come from the court, and all of the supervisory procedures are different depending on which county you are in.