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Tag Archives: Interlock Device

Texas Underage DWI Penalties

In Texas, DWI laws consider anyone who is under the age of 21 to be a minor. In Texas , driving on the roads implies that you are giving police officers implied consent to check your breath or your blood for the presence of alcohol or other drugs. This means that just by driving, you are already agreeing that it is ok for an officer to ask you to take a breath or blood test. If you refuse to do so your driver’s license could be suspended for 180 days on the 1st offense and 2 years on the second. If you do not have a driver’s license, then your driving privileges will be suspended the same number of days or years once you become eligible. Now this doesn’t mean you have to take a test, it is perfectly legal, and sometimes smarter to refuse any test that an officer might want you to take.

Underage DWI penalties in Texas

Texas has a zero tolerance law for minors and alcohol. That means that if you are not yet 21, that you cannot have ANY alcohol in your system at all. Even if you are under the legal limit of .08. For a 1st offense you could face:

  • Suspended TDL for up to 2 years
  • A fine of up to $500
  • A class involving alcohol education
  • An ignition interlock in your vehicle if you do keep your license in some way
  • A possible additional suspension through a criminal judge
  • And any fines, court costs, probation fees, legal fees that might result from your arrest

If you do get a suspension it is possible to get an occupational license in Texas by going through the criminal court. Whether or not an occupational license is granted will depend on who the judge is, and the facts surrounding your case. If you are in this situation and have a question to whether or not you are eligible, please give me a call at 713-222-2828 and I will be glad to look at your case.

If you are in the unfortunate situation of being a minor (or being the parent of a minor) who is charged with an alcohol related offense, it is very important to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Many times there are fast approaching deadlines (like a 15 day deadline to request an Administrative License Revocation Hearing – ALR) that must be dealt with. If certain deadlines are missed, it becomes much more difficult and sometimes impossible to prevent the drivers license from being suspended for some amount of time.

Again, if you have any questions about your particular situation, please call my office at 713-222-2828 and I will do my best to advice you on your next steps.

Do Not Tamper With Your Ignition Interlock Device

Recently a person here in Harris County was looking for a DWI Attorney in Houston.  This individual was a hardworking man who was genuinely concerned about money.  He had been placed on probation for DWI and one of the conditions required him to place an ignition interlock device in his vehicle.  Even though this cost him about $75 a month, he had to do it because it was ordered by the judge.

This individual signed a paper regarding this interlock device that had a few rules that he had to follow.  Basically he could only operate a vehicle that was equipped with this device, he had to take the device in for monthly maintenance, and he was not allowed to tamper with the device or circumvent the system.

Well this person happened to be a mechanic, and he knew all the ins and outs of vehicles and machinery in general.  He was having many problems with the interlock device that they had placed in his car.  Sometimes it wouldn’t work, it would beep and make funny noises, and one time in particular it left him stranded.  He was at a store and when he got to his vehicle the machine would not work.  Since the machine wouldn’t work, the car wouldn’t turn on.  So what he decided to do was use his knowledge to take the machine apart and drive to the company so they could fix it.

He drove to the company, told them what happened, and they installed a new one.  What they didn’t tell him was that they were going to report him to the court for tampering with the device.  The next thing he knew, he was back in court dealing with a motion to revoke his probation based on him tampering with the interlock.

This obviously doesn’t seem fair, and it’s not, but he could have handled it another way.  He was concerned that if he told the company they would have to tow the car and that would cost him money, but he should have at least called.  By not calling anyone it hurt his case, and called into question what really happened.

Now this person ended up hiring another DWI Lawyer in Houston, so I don’t know what happened, but I am hoping that they reinstated his probation.  But it is a good reminder to follow the rules.  As dumb as they may be at times, it is your life and your liberty on the line.  If anything like this happens to you, or if you have any questions before you make a decision similar to his, just consult with your Houston DWI Attorney.  There is a very good chance that your attorney has seen someone with a problem very similar to yours and can help.