Under certain circumstances, when someone is convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) they are required to install what’s called an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). An IID is a small device connected to an ignition that prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has drunk too much alcohol. IIDs have been tremendously effective at reducing repeat DWI offenses, so they are a valuable tool.
Facts about IIDs:
- IIDs help reduce driving while intoxicated by separating the acts of drinking and driving.
- An IID is a small device (about the size of a cellphone) that is attached to a vehicle’s ignition.
- An IID is a small breath detector, which measures a driver’s blood alcohol content.
- After the vehicle is started the IID requires a breath sample from the driver at random intervals. If the breath sample has too much alcohol, or if the driver fails to provide a breath sample, the engine won’t shut off, but an alarm will go off with lights flashing and the horn honking until the vehicle is stopped and turned off.
What Does the Law Say About IIDs?
“Is an IID required for all peoplewho are convicted of DWI in Texas?” No, not necessarily. Texas law does however, require the installation of an IID for specific DWI offenses. Under Section 49.09(h) of the Texas Penal Code, anyone who is convicted of a second DWI offense within five years is required to install an IID.
Under the law, DWI defendants subject to the IID requirement must install an IID before the ending date of their license suspension and the IID must be installed on each vehicle they drive for one year. If the DWI defendant fails to comply with this law, they can be charged with contempt.