If charged with a DUI or a DWI in Texas, you may have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. These devices help ensure you do not drive while intoxicated. Yet, they also allow you to use your vehicle while completing the terms of your DUI penalty.

Without an IID, you may be unable to drive to work, school or even run simple errands after convicted of a DUI. Understanding how these machines work may be advantageous to you during this time.

What is an interlock device?

These small machines install directly into the ignition system of your vehicle, with a dashboard monitor and camera. In order to start your car, you must first blow directly into a tube connected to the device. The machine measures your blood alcohol content level, and if it is under the preset level, it will allow your car to start.

Periodically during your drive, you must submit rolling retests, or subsequent breath samples to ensure you are still below the preset BAC level.

How do you get an IID?

According to the Texas Department of Safety, you must comply with certain criteria in order to be eligible for a restricted interlock device. These include the following:

  • You must pay all fees, such as the restricted interlock license fee and any outstanding reinstatement fees
  • Your driver’s license must be current
  • You cannot have a cancelled, suspended, denied or revoked driver’s license for any reason other than the DUI

Once approved, an approved vendor must install your IID. You must take your vehicle in for routine maintenance appointments. During your appointment, technicians will check your device to ensure it is working properly and that no one has tampered with it. Any violations may require removal of your device. Furthermore, information regarding startup attempts, BAC levels and lockouts are submitted to law enforcement.

Once you have served the terms of your DUI, the restricted interlock device can be removed by an approved vendor.