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DWI charges can mean driving with an ignition interlock device

Charges related to driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas are serious offenses. Anyone accused of a DWI offense should educate themselves about the potential consequences and options for defense against these charges. Simply pleading guilty isn't usually the best option available. While you may want to avoid a criminal trial, a conviction can have far-reaching consequences.

You could lose your job due to the conviction, especially if your career involves driving in any way. You will also end up saddled with a criminal record that could complicate your life for years to come. You will lose your license for a period of time determined by any previous DWI convictions on your record. In some cases, you may have the option of seeking limited license under the state's ignition interlock device (IID) program.

How does the IID program work in Texas?

Those with an alcohol-related driving offense on their record often lose their license as a consequence. However, people have to get to and from work every day. They need to get to a hospital if a loved one needs medical care and drive their children to and from school.

Texas recognizes that total loss of motor vehicle privileges can constitute an undue hardship. Therefore, those who still need to drive can apply for limited licenses that require the installation of an IID in the vehicle of the driver in question. The driver will have to perform a negative chemical breath test before the vehicle will start.

The restricted interlock license only permits the holder to drive vehicles with IIDs installed. The person with the restricted license must pay all installation fees, as well as monthly inspection and maintenance fees.

Violating a limited license will mean losing it

Having firm limitations on your license can be a frustrating experience. You may feel tempted to drive someone else's car or to have a friend perform a breath test so you can have a single drink while out for the night. However, if you get caught violating any of the terms of your limited license, you will lose your license and no longer have the ability to drive yourself anywhere.

Without a license, you will have to depend on carpooling, ride-sharing, taxis and public transportation for everything. That can make it difficult to get places on time. Your career could suffer, as your employer may not take kindly to constant tardiness.

Even if you maintain your IID, it will be another expense that compounds how much a DWI costs. Your best option is to fight back and defend yourself against DWI charges and all the potential consequences you could suffer if convicted.

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