DWI Dismissal Could Lead To Removal Of Ignition Interlock Device

Proving that the Wichita Falls Times Record News Online is just a little behind what most people would consider news, a few days ago they ran a story titled “First Offense May Require DWI Device”:

Repeat drinking and driving offenders in Texas know the hassle that comes with the advanced charges, but soon, first-time offenders, too, could face a tougher crack down.

Texas state legislation mandates that repeat offenders be ordered to have an ignition interlock installed on their vehicle as a condition of their bond.

However, that could change soon, as legislators are looking at amending the law, making the interlock a requirement on the first offense.

Actually, the legislative session is over, and I’m pretty sure House Bill 1110, which would have done just that, was left pending in committee, which is fancy legi-speak for “went nowhere”. I say “pretty sure” because Texas has some funky procedures regarding the Governor’s ability to call special sessions for certain issues, but I haven’t heard of one for this… yet. Not saying it couldn’t happen.

At any rate, I found this tidbit from the article amusing. Sometimes journalists like to rile their readers up, let ‘em know what sorts of outrageous consequences there could be if a bill doesn’t pass:

For some, the device is only a temporary inconvenience.

Being a condition of bond, the suspect could be allowed to have the device removed if the case is dismissed, or the terms of the conviction or probation don’t mandate its use.

That’s right folks! You get arrested, not convicted but just accused of DWI second in Texas, and you’re going to be required to put an interlock on your car. But as the law stands now… if the state dismisses your case (or, and the article doesn’t mention this, but hey, this is bad law too) if you are acquitted…

Under current law, you are no longer required to have the IID on your car. Imagine that. The horror. Better call your legislator and, well, tell them what? Rewind time and get this bill out of committee?

 

Do Prosecutors Trust The Intoxiliar 5000?

Well, Eric Dexheimer, on the Statesman’s Focal Point blog, actually asks the question “Do prosecutors walk the walk with DWI breath tests?”. The answer, of course, is usually a resounding “Hell No!” but a more interesting question is – if you believe me that the answer is “No”- then “Why Not?”

Could it be that as lawyers intimately involved in the criminal justice system, that they know their rights, and when to exercise them?