Ignition Interlock Laws in Colorado
Colorado courts may order the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in certain cases involving driving under the influence (DUI). The IID is a device that prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver’s breath sample indicates an alcohol concentration above a preset limit. If the device prevents the vehicle from starting in three of any consecutive twelve-month period, the offender’s IID requirement will be extended for a period of one year. IIDs must be installed on all vehicles owned or co-owned by the offender or that the offender may operate. IIDs must be obtained by a vendor that is approved by the state.
In some cases, Colorado law allows for the early reinstatement of driving privileges if IIDs are installed on the offender’s vehicles. The Driver Services Section determines if an offender is eligible for early reinstatement of driving privileges. To qualify for the early reinstatement of driving privileges with an IID restriction, the offender must be a resident of Colorado, serve the required driving privilege revocation period and satisfy all other reinstatement requirements. If the early reinstatement is approved, the offender’s driving privileges are restricted, and the offender must only operate IID-equipped vehicles. Any offender who operates a vehicle that is not equipped with an IID, or who attempts to circumvent the device, will be subject to additional legal action including the revocation of driving privileges for a period of one year.
Colorado courts determine the length of time that the IID must remain installed in the offender’s vehicles. For the first per se or DUI conviction, the IID is required for a period of eight months. The term “per se” refers to a legal assumption of impaired driving based upon a blood alcohol content (BAC) that is above a specific limit. For the first “per se” conviction with a BAC of 0.17 or higher, the IID is required for a period of two years. For the second per se conviction during a lifetime or the second DUI conviction in a five-year period, the IID is required for a period of two years. For the third and subsequent per se or DUI conviction in a lifetime, the IID is required for a period of two years. Individuals who are designated as habitual traffic offenders are required to install IIDs for a period of four years.
Refusing a chemical test will result in a court order for an IID. For the second offense of refusing a chemical test, one year of driving privilege revocation must be served. After driving privileges are revoked for one year, the courts must approve the reinstatement of the offender’s driving privileges. Upon the court’s approval, the offender will be required to install an IID for a period of one year. Third and subsequent offenses for refusing chemical tests will result in driving privileges being revoked for a period of one year. After one year, the offender may have driving privileges reinstated with the condition that an IID be installed for a period of two years.
The offender is responsible for any and all costs associated with the Ignition Interlock Device, including installation, calibration and servicing. IID costs range from $800 to $1,000 per year. Financial assistance may be available to offenders who can demonstrate financial hardship. If approved, the financial assistance will cover up to $400 in costs. The offender is responsible for any and all additional costs. IIDs must be serviced by the authorized provider every 60 days. Failure to comply with the required service schedule will result in license suspension. Driving privileges will be suspended if the authorized provider cancels the IID lease agreement for any reason.