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Ignition interlock devices for first time DUIs in Texas

A drunk driving conviction can have very serious professional and financial repercussions. Between license suspension, fines and even possible jail time, a driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated arrest is something that should always be taken seriously, even if it is someone's first DUI/DWI arrest.

A new law also recently went into effect in Texas. Under this law, if someone wants to drive during license suspension, he or she must have an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle. If someone decides not to apply for the ignition interlock device, he or she will not be allowed to drive.

The cost for this ignition interlock device -- which is about the size of a cellphone and requires the driver to breath into the machine prior to the vehicle starting -- costs between $70 and $150 to install and another $60 to $80 per month for monitoring and calibration. In almost all cases, the driver is the one to pay this.

It should also be noted that the devices have "running retests." This means that the driver will need to also blow into the device while driving. If the tests show an elevated blood alcohol level, the vehicle's horn will start going off and/or the lights on the vehicle will start flashing once parked.

Consequences can be high, know your rights

At Mark A. Perez, P.C., we do not sugarcoat the possible consequences from a DUI. Depending on the factors involved, a driver could be facing jail time, license suspension and the possible loss of their job, depending on their profession. When all is said and done, with fines, surcharges and increased insurance costs, a DUI could end up costing someone up to $17,000.

The good news, though, is that a DUI arrest is not the same as a conviction. It is possible to fight back. If you were recently arrested for drunk driving remember:

  • You have the right to an attorney
  • You have constitutional rights that must be upheld, including throughout the arrest
  • An officer needs to have a sufficient reason for pulling a driver over
  • Police can and do make mistakes administering breath tests. An attorney may be able to challenge the results.

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