Texas DUI Attorneys Discuss Car Breathalyzers After a DWI
Texas DUI Attorneys Discuss Car Breathalyzers After a DWI
If you have been charged with or convicted of driving while intoxicated in Texas, you might have to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your vehicle. The device prevents your car from starting if alcohol is detected on your breath. Installation might be a requirement if certain factors were present in your case. For example, the court might require that you get an IID as a condition of bond for a subsequent DWI violation. IID installation can also be an option if you want unrestricted driving privileges after your driver’s license has been suspended. An IID can be pricey, and you are required to foot the bill for it….
If your BAC is below a certain level, your vehicle will start. The device will alert you to provide additional samples during your drive for analysis. It will log any detection of alcohol. An IID serves to prevent drunk driving, as its design keeps intoxicated individuals from operating motor vehicles. When Is an IID Required? An IID is not always required in a Texas DWI. A judge shall only order the installation of one if certain criteria are met….
One circumstance where an IID is required is as a condition of bond under the following situations:
- It is your second or subsequent DWI violation,
- You are alleged to have driven with a child passenger under 15 years of age,
- You allegedly caused an accident resulting in serious bodily injury to another person (intoxication assault), or
- You allegedly caused an accident resulting in the death of another person (intoxication manslaughter)
When petitioning for an ODL, our DWI Attorneys make sure to discuss the possibility of an interlock requirement. Interlock and Criminal Cases. Offenders who commit DWI with a child passenger in the car risk an additional charge of child endangerment. This comes with penalties including a $10,000 fine, 2 to 10 years in prison, and a loss of driving privileges for up to two years. Offenders who refuse to take a DWI test when stopped on suspicion of drunk driving also face enhanced penalties like up to a $10,000 fine and up to two years in jail.
Cost of an Ignition Interlock Device
The cost of an IID includes installation fees, monthly service fees, and removal fees. On average, you can expect to pay:
- $75 to $150 for installation
- $60 to $100 per month for the monthly service fee
- $50 to $100 for removal
In addition, a deposit of $100 to $200 is usually required. The total costs for the IID during the required installation period can range from $1,000 to $2,000. Unfortunately, the expenses don’t stop there – you need to calibrate and service the device every 30-60 days. Missed appointments or failed breath samples can result in extensions of your required installation period.
Getting an Occupational Driver’s License
An occupational driver’s license (ODL) allows you to drive under certain restrictions if your license has been suspended due to a DWI conviction. To get an ODL in Texas, you must:
- Have had your license suspended for less than a year
- Show proof of financial responsibility (insurance)
- Pass a drug test
- Provide proof that you need to drive for essential duties related to your job, education, or community service
The court will determine if you are eligible and what restrictions to place on the ODL – for example, when and where you are permitted to drive. In many cases, an IID will be required for you to get an ODL. Our DWI defense attorneys can guide you through the ODL application process and represent you at the court hearing.
Avoiding an Ignition Interlock Requirement
There are a few ways a skilled DWI lawyer may be able to help you avoid having to install an IID:
- Get the charges reduced or dismissed so a conviction is avoided
- Negotiate an alternative sentence that doesn’t include an IID requirement
- Challenge improper procedures by police during your arrest
- Obtain an occupational license without an IID requirement
An experienced attorney understands the intricacies of DWI law and sentencing guidelines. With strong advocacy and negotiation tactics, they can potentially convince the prosecutor or judge to drop the IID requirement. This outcome becomes more likely if legal issues with your case can be identified.
What Happens After a DWI Conviction?
A DWI conviction leads to several penalties mandated by the state of Texas, including:
- Jail time – Minimum 72 hours for first offense. Minimum 30 days for second offense.
- Fines and court costs – $2,000 or more.
- License suspension – Minimum 180 days for first offense. Minimum 1 year for second offense.
- Annual fees – $1,000 to $2,000 for 3 years to retain your license.
- Ignition interlock device – Required for repeat offenses.
- Probation – Up to 2 years.
- Community service – Required.
- Alcohol education courses – Required.
These consequences can be life-altering. But an experienced DWI defense attorney understands how to navigate the complex legal system to potentially minimize penalties. Strategies they commonly use include:
- Negotiating for lesser charges like reckless driving
- Challenging the validity of breath or blood test results
- Disputing circumstances of the traffic stop and arrest
- Seeking probation and suspended sentence in lieu of jail time
- Asking for exceptions to license suspension rules
- Applying for occupational or provisional licenses
- Requesting leniency at sentencing
By developing strong defense arguments and effectively representing their clients’ interests in court, DWI lawyers are often successful in reducing penalties. But it takes an experienced attorney to craft the right strategy and make the best case.
Why You Need a DWI Lawyer
Trying to navigate the consequences of a DWI charge alone can be extremely difficult. An experienced DWI defense attorney has the knowledge and resources to protect your rights. Benefits of hiring a lawyer include:
- In-depth understanding of DWI laws and defense strategies
- Access to expert witnesses like toxicologists
- Ability to obtain and analyze evidence from your arrest
- Negotiating skills to potentially reduce charges and penalties
- Trial experience if your case goes before a jury
- Guidance on preserving your driving privileges
An attorney becomes your advocate, aggressively defending your case at every stage. They can apply their expertise to build strong arguments on your behalf to achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Most importantly, a DWI conviction affects your freedom, finances, and future. You need someone fighting for you.
Choosing the Right DWI Lawyer
Not all DWI attorneys have the same track record of success. Factors to consider when choosing yours include:
- Experience – Look for extensive experience handling DWI cases specifically, not just general criminal defense.
- Local knowledge – Find someone well-versed in the local courts and judges.
- Resources – Seek out a lawyer with access to experts and ability to thoroughly evaluate evidence.
- Results – Ask about their DWI case dismissal rates and record of penalty reductions.
- Rapport – Choose a lawyer you feel comfortable with and can be open with.
Take time to research options and meet with attorneys before deciding. This is a critical investment in your future. Maximize the chances of the best possible outcome by making the right choice.
Act Quickly After a DWI Arrest
Time is of the essence after a DWI arrest. The sooner you engage a lawyer, the more effectively they can start working on your defense:
- Analyze circumstances of your arrest and validity of evidence
- Guide you on interacting with police and prosecutors
- Advise on preserving your license and driving privileges
- Begin developing defense strategies and mitigating penalties
Don’t wait to connect with an attorney. The 14 days after an arrest are especially crucial. Take action now to protect your rights and future.
Dealing with a DWI charge can be overwhelming. But you don’t have to go through it alone. An experienced DWI defense attorney can make all the difference. Do your research to find the right lawyer for your case. Then let them handle the complex legal process while you focus on the future ahead. Fight for the most favorable outcome possible. Your freedom and rights are worth it.