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Mandatory interlock device use for DUI offenders in Colorado

Colorado residents who are convicted of a DUI must have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for a certain period of time.

Although having a few drinks is perfectly legal in Colorado, climbing behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking is not. People who choose to drink and drive in the state may face DUI charges as a result of their actions. If convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, people may be exposed to strict penalties, including suspension of their driver’s license, fines and jail time, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Colorado law states that people who are convicted of a DUI or who refuse to submit to a law enforcement officer’s attempts to administer chemical testing, are required to use an ignition interlock device in their vehicles for a certain amount of time.

How long must one use an interlock device?

The amount of time that a person is ordered to use an interlock device on their vehicle depends on how many past DUI convictions the person has, as well as their blood alcohol content level at the time of their arrest, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. First-time DUI offenders with a BAC level between 0.08 percent and 0.14 percent must use the device for eight months; however, drivers with a BAC level of 0.15 percent or higher, will be required to use the IID for two years. Drivers with multiple DUI convictions and people who refuse chemical testing must use an interlock device for two years as well.

What are interlock devices and how do they work?

Ignition interlock devices are small breath test machines that are professionally installed in the offender’s vehicle. According to the Century Council, the machine is equipped with a dashboard device containing an attached tube that the driver must blow into before the vehicle will start and then periodically while driving the car. The machine analyzes the breath samples for alcohol content. If the sample measures below the preset limit, the car will start. If the breath sample measures a BAC level that is over the preset limit, the car will lock up, making it impossible to drive. If the driver is able to start the vehicle but fails a subsequent breath test designed to keep the car going, an alarm will sound instructing the driver to pull over and turn off the vehicle.

All of this information, including the BAC level of each attempt to start the car, and during each rolling retest is recorded in the device. The data is then forwarded to the proper authorities during the required IID maintenance appointments.

Getting started

People who have been charged with a DUI may feel overwhelmed with the possible consequences that a conviction may have on their reputation and future. A DUI conviction can make it hard to find employment in some fields, obtain a professional license or even get approved for certain finance loans. A reputable defense attorney can help explore your options and ensure that you are taking every appropriate measure necessary to clear your name. It is important to have legal representation by your side that you can trust.

Keywords: DUI, drunk driving, interlock