Video-monitoring breathalyzer watching drivers in Burnet County

By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

Get arrested in Burnet County for a subsequent offense of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and you will find Big Brother literally watching you as you pay them to do it.

Burnet County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday, May 29, to set an ignition interlock monitoring fee of $10 per month for defendants accused of driving drunk or under the influence of drugs for at least the second time.

The court did so at the direction of County Magistrate Kirk Noaker Sr., who appeared before commissioners at their regular meeting to discuss the fee and what it entails.

Under Article 17.441 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, if a defendant has been arrested for DWI, flying while intoxicated or boating while intoxicated for a second time, a magistrate must require them to have an interlock device installed on their motor vehicle.

Interlocking devices feature a deep-lung breathalyzer which will not allow operation of the motor vehicle if ethyl alcohol is detected in the operator's breath. These devices, many of which now include offsite video monitoring, must be installed at the driver's expense through a company approved by the magistrate.

The device will be installed on a first offense if the driver commits intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter. . . .

Find the rest of this story in the Friday, May 31 issue of The Highlander, the newspaper of record for the Highland Lakes. To offer a comment or news tip, email

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