The Texas legislature had a busy season this year, passing over 1,000 bills that were signed into law by the Governor. One law in particular, known as the Ignition Interlock Law, or House Bill 2246, will have a big impact on Texas’ DWI laws.
Certain organizations lobbied to have this law passed over the last 10 months and were finally successful. The new law is not all bad news for those with a DWI conviction. In fact, it may turn out that the law helps those who previously would have lost their license keep it instead.
What the New Law Does
The new law will allow those with a suspended license to regain their driving privileges under certain circumstances. Before the law was passed, the discretion of whether a driver could retain his license for things like work and daily chores was left to the court to decide, but now a person may apply for what is called an occupational license.
If granted, an occupational license allows use of a car for certain activities like going to work or picking up children from school. The compromise is that the person applying for the occupational license would have to purchase an ignition interlock system for $125. These systems are popular throughout the country as a way to prevent drunk driving. What they do is require the driver to blow into the system before using the car. If the operator’s breath contains any traces of alcohol, the car will not function.
Not everyone will qualify for this new system under the law. If a driver’s license is suspended for a violation of Texas Code 49.04-49.08, then he or she would not qualify for the occupational license and ignition interlock system. Those violations include:
- Driving with a blood alcohol level greater than 0.15
- Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger
- Flying an airplane while intoxicated
- Boating while intoxicated
- Assaulting another person with a vehicle while intoxicated
- Committing manslaughter while intoxicated
These offenses are deemed too serious to allow someone who is convicted of them to continue driving a vehicle, even with an ignition interlock system. Since this is a voluntary system for those convicted of a DWI offense, there are few complaints from civil liberty advocates.
Ensuring Your Rights are Protected
If you have been pulled over on suspicion and charged with DWI in the Dallas area, you cannot afford to let the process take advantage of you. There are several risks that come with DWI charges – a record, job loss, financial strains, and others. Under the U.S. and Texas Constitutions you have rights that must be preserved and protected. That is why you need an accomplished, experienced DWI defense team on your side. At The Wilder DWI Defense Firm our team is ready and able to fight your DWI charges at every level.
Our team will fight your charges in every way possible, including going to trial. We are the DWI trial and defense team that your charges deserve. Contact us so we can provide you with your legal options and review your case today.