A DWI conviction in Texas may require IID installation

Texas drivers convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) can often face very stiff penalties. In fact, in addition to criminal sentences, they may also be forced in install ignition interlock devices (IID) on their motor vehicles before they will be permitted to drive following a Texas DWI conviction.

Basically, an IID is a device that will not permit a motor vehicle's engine to start until the driver blows into the device and proves he or she is not intoxicated. There are several situations in which these devices may be ordered by a Texas court.

For instance, as a condition for community supervision, those drivers convicted of a Texas DWI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 percent or higher will be ordered by the court to install an IID within 30 days of their DWI conviction - which can apply even to first-time offenders.

For those drivers with more than one DWI conviction, the IID requirements can be all the more severe. For example, if a driver receives a second, or more, DWI offense within five years of the commission of the last DWI offense, he or she will be required to install an IID on all vehicles he or she owns. Furthermore, for an entire year following the end of the driver's license suspension period, he or she cannot drive a vehicle that does not have an IID installed. The driver is also responsible for all costs associated with installing the IID.

texas occupational license

It is important to note that IID installation may also be ordered during a license suspension if a driver convicted of a DWI applies for an occupation license in Texas - which is often used to allow the person to drive in work related situations.

When granting an occupation license, the judge generally has discretion whether to order an IID installation for first-time DWI offenders. But, the judge must order an IID when the driver applying for the occupational license has had two or more DWI convictions. However, there are instances under Texas law in which it is possible for a driver to operate a vehicle without an IID during this suspension period, for example if all the following applies:

  • The person is required to drive a vehicle in the course of scope of his or her job;
  • The vehicle is owned by the person's employer;
  • The person whose driving privileges are restricted does not control or own the employer;
  • The employer is made aware of the driving privilege restrictions; and
  • There is proof in the vehicle that the employer was made aware of the restrictions.

As this article indicates, the law surrounding IID installation following DWI convictions can be quite complicated in Texas. As such, it is often best to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney if charged with a DWI.