As an attorney who handles a lot of DWI cases, I am aware of recent trends in DWI bond conditions and probation. Lately, I have seen an increase in the use of ignition interlock devices.

These devices are installed in your vehicle, and you are required to blow into them to start your vehicle and also periodically while driving. Interlock devices have long been a condition of bond on a second DWI offense as well as a condition of probation for a second DWI offense.  However, in the last year these devices are becoming an issue for people charged with a FIRST DWI offense.

If you are convicted of DWI with a BAC above .15 you will be required to have the device installed for at least half the probation term.  If you do a deferred adjudication probation you will have to have it on for at least half the term.

But perhaps the most disturbing thing I have been seeing regarding interlock is when it is required as a condition of bond on a FIRST offense.  This means a magistrate can make you put the device on your vehicle even though you haven’t yet been convicted of anything.  And if NHTSA has its way, every vehicle will eventually have some form of an interlock device on it.

In a recent NHTSA report, the agency stated the best way to prevent impaired driving would be to put an interlock in every vehicle sold.  The ignition interlock device is no longer solely for people who have 2 or 3 previous DWIs.