Life with an ignition interlock device

In Texas, some driving while intoxicated offenses can actually result in felony charges depending upon the circumstances.

In Texas, a person convicted of a repeat driving while intoxicated offense may be required to install and use an ignition interlock device. This may be one of several requirements to be met in order to regain the right to drive after a DWI conviction.

An application for a restricted interlock license must be made to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The associated fee must also be paid. A person's original license must be in good standing in order for the restricted interlock license to be approved.

Once the license is granted and an IID installation is scheduled, drivers should be aware that they will have to make some adjustments in their lives while they have ignition interlock devices installed.

Can I eat and drink normally while driving?

As explained by Intoxalock, an ignition interlock device manufacturer, many foods and beverages may contain substances that may interfere with a clean breath sample. Sugary pastries or creamers in coffee, for example, are items that should be avoided within at least 10 or 15 minutes of giving samples. Drivers who must use IIDs may need to adjust their habits of having coffee while driving to work in the morning.

Can I just wait and have my coffee and donut after I've started my car?

With the required use of an ignition interlock device, drivers must be prepared to give breath samples before starting vehicles. However, this is not the only time that samples will be required. Once a vehicle has been started, an IID will give signals for subsequent tests at random times during a journey. For this reason, eating or drinking anything even once an initial test has been passed may not be wise as it may result in a problem with these rolling retests.

Are there non-food items that can interfere with an IID?

Many normally used personal care items may also cause interference with proper readings of an ignition interlock device. Mouthwash and toothpaste are two of the most common substances that may return false positives from a breath sample provided to an IID. As with foods and beverages, it is recommended that drivers avoid these items for at least 15 minutes prior to giving a breath sample.

What happens when my car needs maintenance?

Drivers will need to work with their mechanics when service is needed. Additional tips can be given to service centers so that workers can take tests in order to start vehicles while working on them. Some auto centers may prefer to have the drivers wait and take any tests when needed.

How can I learn more about IIDs and DWI penalties?

After being arrested, it is understandable that a driver may feel scared. Talking with an attorney is always recommended at this point and can be a great way to learn about the laws and the DWI defense process.