Ignition interlock device laws are strict in Colorado

Colorado has strict laws for DUI offenders in the state, including mandatory use of ignition interlock devices.

Many Colorado residents and tourists alike enjoy going out for an evening of dinner and drinks. People who decide to drive after drinking, however, may find themselves facing DUI charges. New legislation that took effect in January of 2014 has made it more difficult for people who are convicted of drunk driving in the state. All convicted DUI offenders and some DWAI offenders are required to use an ignition interlock device in their vehicles for a specified period of time. These small breath test devices make it possible for DUI offenders to continue driving, even though their driver's license is revoked. In addition, they may help keep drunk drivers from getting multiple DUI offenses.

How do interlock devices work?

According to TechHive, interlock devices are installed into the ignition system of an offender's vehicle. The driver must submit a breath sample before the car will start and then at various times while driving the vehicle. The machine will analyze the breath sample for the presence of alcohol. If the driver's blood alcohol content level is over a preset amount, the car will not start or continue to operate.

How long must people use an IID?

The length of time that a DUI offender is required to use an IID on his or her vehicle depends on exactly what type of offense the driver was charged with, as well as whether or not the driver has had any previous DUI offenses on his or her record. The Colorado Department of Revenue reported the following:

  • First-time DUI offenders with a BAC of 0.08 percent: Will have their driver's license suspended for one month, and use an IID for at least eight months.
  • First-time DUI offenders with a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher: After a one-month driver's license revocation period, the driver must use an IID for at least two years.
  • Offenders with two DUI convictions: Must use an IID for two years after a one-month driver's license revocation period.

People who have been convicted of three or more motor vehicle offenses, including vehicular homicide or assault, reckless driving, DUI, driving with a suspended driver's license, or driving while ability impaired, risk losing their driver's license for up to five years. These drivers may be able to drive with an IID one year after they have had their driver's license revoked.

Drivers who are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving in Colorado and refuse to take a roadside chemical test will automatically have their driver's licenses revoked. Furthermore, they will be required to use an ignition interlock device on their vehicles for at least two years.

Facing DUI charges

Having a DUI on your driving record can make it hard to qualify for financing and find employment in certain industries. A DUI conviction can also lead to hefty fines and jail-time. If you have been charged with a DUI, DWAI or any other type of driving offense in Colorado, you may want to seek counsel from an established criminal attorney. A lawyer can explain the process, spot legal defenses you may have, and inform you of all of your legal options.

Keywords: DUI, interlock, drunk driving, arrest, penalties