blog DUI What You Need To Know About Interlock Ignition Devices in Colorado

What You Need To Know About Interlock Ignition Devices in Colorado

By Colorado Attorney-at-law on September 30, 2023

An interlock ignition device (“IID”) is a small, breathalyzer-like device installed in a vehicle’s dashboard. The purpose of this device is to prevent the vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds the legal limit of .08 percent.

Colorado’s Interlock Ignition Device Laws

In Colorado, IIDs are mandated for certain individuals who have been convicted of a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offense. The specific circumstances that require IID installation include:

  • First-time DUI with a BAC of 0.15 or higher: If you are convicted of a first-time DUI offense in Colorado with a BAC of 0.15 or higher, you will be required to install an IID for two years.
  • First-time DUI with a BAC below 0.15: For a first-time DUI with a BAC below 0.17, you may still be required to install an IID, but the duration of use is one year.
  • Second or subsequent DUI offenses: Individuals with a second or subsequent DUI conviction will be required to use an IID for two years.
  • DUI offenses involving injuries or deaths: If your DUI offense resulted in injuries or fatalities, you may be required to use an IID for a longer period, depending on the circumstances of the case.

How Interlock Ignition Devices Work

Interlock ignition devices (IIDs) ensure sober driving through rolling retests. These unannounced checks happen during vehicle operation:

  • Random Timing: IIDs unpredictably request rolling retests to deter post-initial test alcohol consumption.
  • Response Time: Drivers must provide a breath sample quickly, mimicking real-world police stops.
  • Safe Stop: Drivers should pull over safely for tests to avoid distractions. Refusal or failure activates the vehicle’s alarm.

If alcohol is detected during a rolling retest, the following may occur:

  • Alarm and data log: The vehicle’s alarm alerts and logs failures for monitoring agencies.
  • Lockout: Depending on local laws, a failed test may initiate a temporary lockout to prevent intoxicated driving.
  • Notification: Some IIDs offer real-time reporting, notifying authorities of failures and possible consequences.

Understanding rolling retests is crucial for IID users, as they are both a legal requirement and a safety measure to prevent drunk driving.

Benefits and Challenges of IIDs

Implementing interlock ignition devices (IIDs) in Colorado offers several benefits in the effort to reduce drunk driving and enhance road safety:

  • Deterrence of drunk driving: IIDs deter DUI offenders by requiring them to pass a breathalyzer test before driving.
  • Public safety: IIDs reduce the risk of alcohol-impaired drivers, making the roads safer and preventing accidents, injuries, and fatalities caused by drunk driving.
  • Behavior modification: IIDs encourage responsible drinking habits and awareness of DUI consequences.
  • Reduced recidivism: Research has shown that IIDs can contribute to lower rates of repeat DUI offenses, thereby reducing the burden on the criminal justice system and helping individuals avoid further legal trouble.

However, installing and maintaining an IID comes at a cost, and it’s the responsibility of the driver to cover these expenses. The costs can include:

  • Refundable deposit: Drivers must place a $100 refundable deposit for the IID.
  • Installation: You’ll need to pay for the initial installation of the IID, which can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars.
  • Monthly calibration fees: Most IIDs require monthly calibration and monitoring, which typically costs around $80 per month.
  • Removal fees: When the time comes to have the IID removed, there is usually a fee for that service as well.

Legal Considerations and Rights

Failing to comply with IID requirements can have serious consequences. If you attempt to drive a vehicle without an IID or tamper with the device, you could face additional penalties, including extended IID use, fines, and even imprisonment.

Consult an Experienced Summit County DUI Defense Lawyer

Ignition interlock devices play a crucial role in promoting road safety and addressing DUI offenses in Colorado. By deterring individuals from driving under the influence, IIDs contribute to safer roads and help prevent the tragic consequences of drunk driving.

If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges or legal issues related to IIDs, don’t hesitate to reach out to Whitaker & Penix, LLC. With our extensive legal knowledge and experience handling DUI cases, our Breckenridge DUI defense attorneys are here to protect your rights and guide you through the complexities of your case.

Call (970) 368-0602 to schedule a free consultation today.

Posted in: DUI