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Texas interlock law praised by MADD

In 2015, Texas became the 25th state to require drunk drivers to have ignition interlock devices fitted to their vehicles, and a Mothers Against Drunk Driving report released on March 14 suggests that the law has been highly effective. According to the study, these gadgets have prevented more than 200,000 individuals in Texas from driving and driving, more than in any other state.

The devices work in a similar way to the breath testing equipment used by law enforcement. When properly fitted, ignition interlock devices prevent vehicles from starting when alcohol is detected in breath samples provided by motorists. Texas drivers found to have a blood-alcohol level of between .08 and .15 percent are now able to keep their driver's licenses, providing that they have interlock devices installed, and pending legislation would allow first-time DUI offenders to enter into deferred adjudication agreements after equipping their vehicles.

Deferred adjudication allows offenders to avoid being formally convicted if they meet certain requirements, and prosecutors and lawmakers alike are supporting measures that would make it more common. One of the drunk driving bills being considered, which a Comal County prosecutor helped draft, would allow deferred adjudication in DUI cases that do not involve injury or property damage when ignition interlocks are fitted.

When someone is charged with drunk driving charge, he or she may want to consult with an experienced defense attorney. A lawyer can help his or her clients avoid the stiff penalties, such as jail time, high fines and criminal records, that a charge of this magnitude can bring. Experienced attorneys can carefully examine the actions of the police and results of the Breathalyzer tests to try and get their clients' cases dismissed.

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R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
1545 Heights Blvd. Suite 600
Houston, TX 77008

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