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Texas law regarding ignition interlock devices

Driving under the influence is a pervasive problem in Texas and across the nation. According to statistics compiled by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, every two minutes a person is injured in a drunk driving accident somewhere in the United States, and nearly 30 people die each day in such an accident. In 2013, nearly 30 million people admitted that they at some point had driven while impaired.

The legal limit in Texas, as it is in every other state as well as the District of Columbia, is .08 percent. Many states have adopted laws that require the use of ignition interlock devices for people who have been convicted of driving under the influence. The laws vary as to their coverage, with some jurisdictions requiring them to be installed if it is a driver's second offense, while others now require them for any motorist who is convicted.

Texas law makes it voluntary for people whose BAC was less than .15 percent. This allows those who opt for it to continue to drive to work and to school, and it in fact likely prevents accidents, as in the past many people whose license was suspended continued to drive while intoxicated.

An ignition interlock device is in reality a minor annoyance when compared to the other penalties that a person who has been convicted of drunk driving can face. Possible sanctions could include incarceration and heavy fines. In addition, people may have problems obtaining suitable employment. As a result, those who are facing DUI charges may want to have the assistance of an attorney when attempting to combat the allegations. One possible line of defense could be to challenge the traffic stop that led to the arrest as being made without the necessary reasonable suspicion.

Source: MADD.org, "Drunk Driving Statistics", accessed on Oct. 21, 2016

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