Pre-Trial Conditions

San Antonio, Texas Pretrial Bond Issues

With first offense DWI arrests the bonds are usually simple, and the only requirement is that you stay in touch by phone once a week. However in cases where the breath or blood test results show an alcohol concentration of .15 or greater, the case becomes a Class A misdemeanor, and ignition interlock is often required by the judges as a condition of bond. A DWI second offense has the same bond requirement as the .15 or greater because it also a Class A misdemeanor.

An ignition interlock is a device with a camera which is wired into the vehicle ignition to prevent the car from starting if there is an alcohol concentration of .04 or greater detected on the breath. The device will “lock out,” and an electronic message will be recorded within the machine. The device will ask for a re-test after a few minutes to make certain that there is no error. An alcohol reading again will confirm the violation. A failure to re-test when requested is also a violation. At the end of the month when the machine is calibrated, alcohol readings will be downloaded to the database and sent to the Pre-Trial Services Department. The machine will allow the car to start at alcohol readings less than .04, but these readings will be downloaded as well. Any alcohol reading is a violation of bond when an ignition interlock is required.

In the misdemeanor courts some judges are more forgiving than others, but some have no tolerance for violations. In the felony courts there is no tolerance. Bond violations most often result in doubling of bond and a warrant of arrest. Ask your lawyer about your judge.

A confirmed violation usually results in an additional bond requirement, such as antabuse (disulfiram). This drug produces and acute sensitivity to any alcohol which is ingested, breathed or applied to the skin. If a person for medical reasons cannot take the drug, the judges are likely to use other devices such as Soberlink® or SCRAM® (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor). These devices require that the individual does not consume alcohol at any time in order to prevent bond violations. Many judges do not use antabuse, and they will use the devices.

The Soberlink® costs $180 per month, and it downloads results immediately upon use via a dedicated cell phone line. It has a camera. Judges will see violations from this device that day or the next.

The SCRAM® device costs in excess of $450 per month! It is a device that is continuously strapped to the ankle. It reads the alcohol concentration every minute in the sweat on the ankle. The device in extreme cases is used even on diabetics. It can cause irritations of the skin which become open sores. The device must be downloaded weekly to a dedicated land-line. The judge will see violations monthly.

Violations with these devices result in jail sanctions.