Although it is widely known that drunk driving is a negligent act that places others on public roads at risk, there are still thousands of alcohol-related accidents, injuries, and deaths each year. A newly passed law aims to reduce the number of these preventable accidents in Texas by allowing breathalyzers to be installed in some vehicles owned by drivers convicted of their first DWI offense.
Here are some details about the new law:
- The new law was supported by both sides of the aisle, as well as numerous safety advocates and residents across the state. It was signed by Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday, June 23rd.
- Under the new law, judges will now have the discretion to require first time DWI offenders with suspended licenses to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles.
- An ignition interlock device (IID) functions as a breathalyzer that requires motorists to blow into the device before starting their vehicle and at various points during their drive. If the device registers a certain amount of alcohol on a driver’s breath, the vehicle will not start and the appropriate officials will be notified.
- Texas DWI laws currently require ignition interlock devices to be installed only on vehicles operated by motorists who have been convicted of multiple DWI offenses with high blood alcohol levels.
The new law falls in line with similar efforts in other states to increase drunk driving enforcement and penalties for the benefit of public safety. In particular, the law gives judges the ability to determine whether or not an individual convicted of DWI presents a risk of getting back behind the wheel while under the influence - as well as the tools needed to make that negligent act much more difficult.
As statistics show alarming numbers of repeat offenses and accidents involving drivers previously convicted of DWI, the new law may become a crucial tool not only for keeping drunk drivers off the road, but also for protecting the public.
Having seen the damages drunk driving accidents can cause victims and families, The Daspit Law Firm fully supports Texas’ new DWI law. Unfortunately, the law does not fully eliminate the possibility of impaired motorists getting behind the wheel - which is why we are always available to help those who want to learn more about their rights and how we can help.
To discuss your case with an experienced auto accident lawyer, contact The Daspit Law Firm for a FREE case review. We serve clients throughout Houston and across Texas.