How Can An Ignition Interlock Device Impact My DWI Case?
An ignition interlock device is a device that gets installed in your vehicle and stops you from being able to start your vehicle if there is a high level of alcohol that you are blowing into the device. It also requires you, as you are driving, to take a rolling retest which means that while the car is in motion, you will also be required to blow into the device to make sure that you are not drinking while you are driving. It is required as a condition of most bonds where the alcohol level is above a 0.15, and it’s also required on second DWIs or higher offenses, and the device will be monitored not only by the vendor who is renting you the device, but it will also be monitored by pre-trial services by an officer who will get assigned to you, and that officer is going to be checking in on the device to ensure compliance. You are going to be required to upload the information from the device about once every month and when you do that, all the information, all the tests you’ve done over the course of the past month will get uploaded to the pre-trial services officer.
They are going to be checking it to make sure that you are not having any alcohol violations. If you do have a violation, there are different types of violations. You can have a high one that is going to prevent you from driving at all but you can also have warnings which means that it has detected alcohol but a low level of alcohol. If that happens, what they tell you to do is to continue to blow into the device. You blow into it again after that blow is completed and you keep blowing into it until you register all zeros. In so doing, you are building evidence, if you have actually been consuming alcohol, that the blow you just made into the device is consistent with alcohol consumption and not consistent with having alcohol in your mouth from mouthwash or something like that. If you don’t know how an ignition interlock device works once it is installed in your vehicle, you can get help from the DWI defense attorneys in Austin, Texas for legal assistance.
A lot of people who do get that warning, they don’t continue to blow into the device. By not continuing to blow into that device when you have that warning, that is a violation in and of itself. Such a violation also requires the services of an Austin, Texas DWI defense lawyer. When I say violation, I mean violation that if brought to the attention of the judge, it could cause your personal bond to be revoked and cause you to be taken back into custody. So it should be taken seriously. Pre-trial services is going to be checking for that. One thing that I’ve seen more and more recently, even though it’s not something that I’d mention to you, is that the judges want to see that you are blowing into that device frequently; meaning that they want to see that you are actually driving that vehicle. Some people will put the device in their secondary vehicle that they don’t drive frequently. They only start it a few times every month and then they are driving another vehicle that doesn’t have a device in it. You should look carefully at the conditions for your release on the prisoner bond paperwork: it has a condition in there with the ignition interlock device and it says you are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device. The DWI defense attorneys in Austin, Texas at our office understand all the legalities involved in DWI cases.
Operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device would be a violation as well if they were to discover that you were operating a motor vehicle without such a device. One of the benefits of it is that if you are going to choose to consume alcohol while you are out on bond, it’s going to be very difficult for you to get another DWI because the vehicle will not start if you are above the legal limit and you will be able to prove that you weren’t committing a DWI. The judges aren’t going to see it that way. They are going to see the consumption of alcohol at all, and while it is not listed as a condition of your personal bond, or even as a condition on the conditions form attached to the personal bond, all the judges in Travis County understand it to be the case, and pre-trial services as well, that you are not allowed to consume alcohol while out on bond. Pretrial services, in making their own rules, they make you sign a form that says you are not allowed to consume alcohol at all while you are out on personal bond.
Technically, I would say that policy means you are not allowed to consume alcohol while you are out on personal bond in any case, but certainly if it’s a DWI case, it’s something that they will take very seriously. So the ignition interlock device will only prevent you from consuming alcohol and then driving a vehicle but it is also a violation of your bond if you are found to be consuming alcohol at any time. It will affect your case and you could be taken into custody if you were found to be violating it. Typically most judges will give you 2 opportunities to get in compliance with it, but if you are not taken into custody on the first try, I don’t think you should take that as license to not take the advice seriously. The reason for that is if you are ordered to have this device in your vehicle , it will be one of the best ways to build a record to show that you do not have an alcohol problem and that you can go without drinking alcohol.
It doesn’t necessarily show that you are not drinking alcohol but it certainly shows that you are making the right decisions about not drinking alcohol and then getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. That is something that the prosecutors are going to see. Even though the prosecutors are not directly monitoring the device, when the case has gotten say, 8 months along and we are getting close to negotiating a reduction with the prosecutors, they oftentimes ask, “How has your client been on the ignition interlock device? Have they had any violations?” Being able to get pre-trial services or a pre-trial services officer to write a report that says the defendant has had no violations, that is very many times going to be the thing that pushes it over the edge and tips the scales where they say I’m willing now to give a reduction in charges on this case. So if you have that device, do yourself a big favor and do not violate it in any way. You should take it seriously.
For more information on Ignition Interlock Device In DWI Cases, a free initial consultation with an Austin, Texas DWI defense lawyer is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 478-9898 today. Our DWI defense attorneys in Austin, Texas will be ready to help you.
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