What Is An Interlock Restricted License In Colorado?

Sep 13, 2021 | DUI Defense

You’ll Have to Prove You’re Sober – and Pay To Do So – Every Time You Get Behind The Wheel

DUI convictions in Colorado come with a whole host of consequences and limitations on your driving privileges, including, in many cases, an interlock restricted license. If your driver’s license has an interlock restriction, you may drive only vehicles equipped with a properly functioning Ignition Interlock Device (IID), calibrated specifically for you.

While having an interlock on your vehicle won’t stop you from getting around (as long as you’re sober), the interlock and procedures that come along with it can be a costly, burdensome, and embarrassing imposition.

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How Does An Ignition Interlock Device Work?

An ignition interlock device is installed on the ignition, or starter, of a vehicle. Before the engine can fully start, the driver must provide a breath sample that shows his or her breath alcohol content (BrAC) to be under a specified amount. Once the device determines that the driver has not been drinking, the engine can be started. The State of Colorado also requires random “rolling re-testing,” in which the driver receives an alert from the IID while driving, and must pull over, stop on the side of the road, and blow into the device. After the IID determines that the driver has not been drinking while driving, the driver can continue on his or her way.

Can I Fool An Ignition Interlock Device?

If you think you can fool an IID, you are wrong. Embedded technology, such as mini-cameras and biometrics unique to you, will prevent your friend from providing the breath sample in your place. And if you were to find some way to “cheat” the system, it will come back to haunt you. Under Colorado Law, an attempted circumvention of the ignition interlock can result in the immediate revocation of all driving privileges, and any prior suspended sentences for DUI would be reinforced.

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When Does Colorado Require an Interlock Restricted License?

Colorado law and Colorado Springs prosecutors treat driving under the influence with the utmost seriousness. The severe penalties imposed for DUI focus on saving lives and deterring drivers from drinking and driving in the future.

Requiring the installation of an ignition interlock device as a condition of driving legally reflects both of those goals. This includes the possibility of having an interlock restricted license even without a conviction for DUI in some circumstances.

Any of the following can result in you getting an interlock restricted license:

  • First Per Se or DUI Conviction: You may be eligible to reinstate your license early after serving one month of a mandatory license suspension. If your BAC was over 0.15 percent, you must have an interlock device for two years to get your license reinstated early.
  • First Per Se if Under a Separate Driving Restraint: You may be able to reinstate your license early after having an interlock for eight months or two years for repeat offense DUI charges.
  • Second DUI and Per Se Two-Year Interlock Required: You may reinstate early after serving one month of your suspension if you install an interlock for two years.
  • Refusing Testing: If you refuse a breath, blood, or urine test after a DUI arrest, there is an automatic two-year interlock requirement if you want to get back on the road.

An interlock restricted license requires that the driver install and use an ignition interlock device as a condition of reinstatement of suspended driving privileges.

The Costs of Having an Interlock Restricted License Come Out of Your Pocket

If you have an interlock restricted license, all the costs and expenses involved in installing, renting, and maintaining the interlock will fall on your shoulders. This is no small expense. Installation of the device can cost several hundred dollars. More painfully, the monthly rental, calibration, and monitoring fees (so the authorities can monitor your compliance), can be around $80 or more a month. If such a bite out of your paycheck every month for an extended period will hurt your wallet, that’s just one more reason to contact a DUI defense attorney who can help you avoid a conviction.

In addition, only certain vendors are authorized by the State of Colorado to install and monitor IIDs. You will be reliant on the vendor’s schedule for installation, compliance testing, and calibration, and you will be responsible for their fees to do so. The monthly calibration of the device can take hours, especially if you can only do it on a Saturday.

Don’t Face The Consequences Of A DUI By Yourself

Avoiding the ordeal and expense of having to blow into a machine and prove your sobriety every time you get behind the wheel is just one of many reasons to hire an experienced Colorado Springs DUI attorney if you face drunk driving charges. The best defense attorneys know the ins and outs of Colorado’s drunk driving laws in part because they are former DUI prosecutors. With so much at stake, make sure your Colorado Springs criminal defense law firm is tenacious enough to fight for you at every turn.