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4 Reasons Why You Don’t Want an Ignition Interlock Device After DWI

man's mouth blowing into breathalyzer tube in car

After being convicted of DWI, one of the potential penalties is the required use of an ignition interlock device (IID). This breathalyzer device is installed into the driver’s car, which they must use each time they wish to start and drive their vehicle. If they do not pass the breath test, the car will not start. Additionally, they can only drive cars equipped with an IID. Let’s further discuss why you don’t want to be stuck with an ignition interlock device after a DWI conviction in Texas.

1. Cost

If the court decides that you must use an IID, you must also pay for it. This means installation and maintenance costs. Installation can cost up to $150, and required maintenance can cost around $75 a month. In total, an IID device can end up costing the driver hundreds to thousands of dollars over the period of required use.

2. A Distraction for Driving

Ignition interlock devices require the driver to take a breath test before the vehicle starts and while the vehicle is running. Drivers will often be prompted to take breath tests while they are driving, which could be a distraction that takes their focus away from the road.

3. False Positives

The IID can malfunction and get an incorrect reading. When this happens, the device may detect alcohol in the driver’s breath when sober. For example, if the driver used mouthwash before taking the IID test, the device may pick up on the alcohol in the mouthwash and present a false positive for drinking alcohol.

Then, the driver cannot start and use their vehicle, even though they have not had any alcohol to drink.

4. Social Stigma

Ignition interlock devices are not discreet. Some drivers may feel embarrassed to have passengers in their car since they will see the device. Additionally, some passengers may not be comfortable getting in the car with someone who has an IID, as they may perceive the driver to be reckless or dangerous.

Avoiding a DWI Conviction in Dallas

Mandatory IID use is just one of numerous potential penalties after a DWI conviction. Working with an experienced DWI defense team is the best way to avoid a conviction altogether. At Palmer Perlstein, we have helped countless clients fight their DWI charges, and we can help you too. Call us today at (214) 891-3382 to get started on your defense with our Dallas DWI attorneys.