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How long do you have to keep the Interlock Device in your car?

Dallas, TX |

I had to get an interlock device installed after appearing in court and being charged with a second DWI (last one was 15+ years ago) I know that doesn't matter.
I routinly travel for work and have to take co-workers with me from time to time and worry about loosing my job becasue of it. I am getting an occupational license next week and soon I will have to begin traveling for audits on other locations. What rights do I have for getting it removed. I have never failed a test in the two months I had it - although I doubt that matters.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Have you been convicted of the second offense? If so, what did the court order? If not yet convicted, probably at least until your case is done. Did you receive any order from your DMV?

In Wisconsin the length of time would depend on your level of intoxication and other factors.

You should talk to a Texas DUI lawyer familiar with your jurisdiction.

This is not legal advice, which requires a personal connection and far more facts. This attorney does not give legal advice to non-clients over the Internet. Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum.

Asker

Posted

I have not been convicted. As far as the DMV, my license has been suspended for 180 days and I retained a lawyer for an occupational license with the hopes of getting that next week.

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

Posted

You should be asking your lawyer this question. He will know the most about your case and your circumstances. You should not reveal confidential information on the Internet.

Posted

Only the judge can order a device to be removed. If you have a second DWI interlock is required. However, you could ask the court to switch to a SCRAM or at-home alcohol monitoring device. Ask your attorney about these options.

Robert Guest is a Kaufman County Criminal Defense Lawyer with offices is Forney, Texas, Irving, Texas and Kaufman, Texas. These answers are not legal advice. We do not have an attorney-client relationship, and my use of Avvo is not intended to form an attonrey-client relationship. Avvo is a limited forum and should never be used as a replacement for a consultation with a local attorney.

Posted

The Code of Criminal Procedure requires that in Ignition Interlock device be installed as a condition of bond on a subsequent DWI charge. There is no time stated in which the first offense has to have occurred (ie. not within the last 10 years). However, the code specifically states "The magistrate may not require the installation of the device if the magistrate finds that to require the device would not bi in the best interest of justice." So the Judge would have to find that the best interest of justice would be served by not ordering the device. This would be very rare in my opinion. A Judge would be fearful that if they removed the device, you could go drink and drive and cause an accident resulting in an injury. Then, the press could find out that the Judge removed the device and if he had not done so, the other people would not have been injured. I have had that scenario told to me by many judges when I have attempted to have Interlock devices removed.

If you are not able to get your new DWI reduced, dismissed, or eventually acquitted of the charge, most courts will order the Interlock as a condition of probation. If it is so ordered, you will have to keep the device on your car for a minimum of half the time the court ordered it. After half of the time (ie. 9 of 18 months) has been served, you can petition the court to have the device removed from your car. It is discretionary with the court. Many courts will remove the device at that time if you have not tampered with the device and have not had any violations.

Additionally, since you prior is over 10 years old, it is within the courts discretion to not order the Interlock as a condition of probation. The Code of Criminal Procedure states that if the prior is within 10 years, the Judge shall order it, but if the prior is outside of 10 years, they have the discretion not to order it. I have had courts not order the Interlock as a condition of probation in these circumstances, but this is court and county specific. Some courts in Dallas will do this, while no courts in Denton you even consider it.

If you have any other questions, please feel to contact me. Have a great day.

Asker

Posted

The statue says nothing about the "discretion" of the Judge. It clearly states the following: A previous conviction may not be used for purposes of restricting a person to the operation of a motor vehicle equipped with an interlock ignition device under this section if: (1) the previous conviction was a final conviction under Section 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, and was for an offense committed more than 10 years before the instant offense for which the person was convicted; and (2) the person has not been convicted of an offense under Section 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08 of that code committed within 10 years before the date on which the instant offense for which the person was convicted.

Douglas Lowell Wilder

Douglas Lowell Wilder

Posted

I totally agree with you and what the code states. However, you must also recognize other sections of the code. Art. 42.12 states "It is the purpose of this article to place wholly within the state courts the responsibility for determining when the imposition of sentence in certain cases shall be suspended, the conditions of community supervision, and the supervision of defendants placed on community supervision, in consonance with the powers assigned to the ... .." So a Judge has authority to impose any conditions of probation they deem reasonable or necessary. Further, state code says 42.12 13(i) "If a person convicted of an offense under Sections 49.04-49.08, Penal Code, is placed on community supervision, the court may require as a condition of community supervision that the defendant have a device installed, on the motor vehicle owned by the defendant or on the vehicle most regularly driven by the defendant, ..." That is why I said the Judge has discretion. The code does state that a Judge cannot use a prior conviction over 10 years old to require an interlock, but they have the discretion to order an interlock on any DWI, regardless of priors, and regardless of the age of any priors. All a Judge would have to say is that based on the facts of this case, and not on an prior history, I am going to order an interlock. Now it may be very obvious that they are using a prior more then 10 years old as the reasoning, but as long as they have a valid reason, they can do it. So if a Judge has the discretion to order an interlock on a first DWI, they have that same discretion to order an interlock on a second DWI that is over 10 years old. I hope this helps you understand the code, and helps you understand the reality of what happens in courts of law for individuals with prior convictions over 10 years old.

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