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Second offenders must become familiar with ignition interlock

Texas law states that if you receive a conviction of a second DWI within a period of five years, you must install an ignition interlock device on every vehicle you own.

Perhaps the court did not order you to have an ignition interlock device when you received your conviction of driving while intoxicated the first time, but it is now mandatory. You may not know anything about the IID or how it works, so this is a good time to become familiar with a little gadget that will be your constant companion whenever you get behind the wheel.

Stiff penalties

Your second DWI carries harsh penalties: a fine of up to $4,000 and a jail sentence from 30 days to a year. The ignition interlock device will also have to remain in your vehicle (or vehicles) for a period of one year.

How the IID works

The ignition interlock device is about the size of a cell phone. Basically, it is a computer with a mouthpiece into which you must breathe any time you wish to drive. The IID connects to your engine, and if the device detects alcohol on your breath, your vehicle will not start. If you pass the test, you are on your way, but keep in mind that there will be random “rolling retests” as you drive to make sure you are not stopping by the local bar for a shooter.

Keeping you safe

According to data compiled by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, about one-third of all motorists convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders — just like you. Use of the ignition interlock device proves to be the most effective way to reduce the number of repeat offenders on the highways. According to MADD, IIDs have prevented 1.77 million attempts to drive while under the influence of alcohol. You will want to get to know your IDD, first, because it will prevent you from driving drunk, and second, because if law enforcement should arrest you for DWI for a third time, you will be facing a very serious felony charge.

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