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4 Things to Know If You Have to Use an Ignition Interlock Device


On your way home from Friday Happy Hour with your coworkers last week, the police stopped you. You failed the breathalyzer test and now you are facing a possible DWI conviction. In addition to expensive court fees and fines, participating in a substance abuse program, and a rather long probation period, they may require you to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your car.

Texas takes drunk driving very seriously. This is the reason why the penalties seem so severe. Fighting a DWI charge can be a very complicated process, but it is not impossible. First and foremost, it is important to understand your rights and options.

Restricted interlock license

You have heard of other people having to blow into an interlock device, but you have never actually seen one in action. People that have a restricted interlock license have permission from the court to operate a vehicle that is equipped with an interlock device. If the court convicts you of a DWI, you can apply for this kind of license with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). You will have to pay required fees for this license and you could be denied if you have an expired or suspended driver’s license.

Driver license cancellation

If the court issues an order suspending your driver’s license due to your conviction, you can apply for a restricted interlock license. The court will send the order to the DPS and the DPS will then send you a written notification of the cancellation. The cancellation will go into full effect 30 days from the date of the notice issued by the DPS. Once you have completed all parts of your probation and the court decides you no longer need the interlock device, the court can issue an order to the DPS to reinstate your regular license.


If you receive permission for a restricted interlock license, then you will have to have the device installed in your car. The service center that installs the device must be DPS-certified. You can contact the Regulatory Services Division of the DPS for a list of locations, certified to install ignition interlock devices.

DWI charges have serious and life-changing consequences. If you are charged with driving while intoxicated, it is important to understand the penalties you could be facing. Reach out to a local Texas criminal defense attorney for help handling your DWI charge.