Ignition Interlock Requirements for DUI in Colorado

Under Colorado law, people convicted of DUI and other alcohol-related driving offenses can be required to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle they own or use for a period of months or years following the reinstatement of a suspended driver's license.

An ignition interlock device is a mechanism that connects to a car's ignition system to test the driver's breath and prevents the engine from starting if an elevated blood alcohol content, or BAC, is detected. The device also requires the driver to provide breath samples periodically while the vehicle is running.

Participants in the Colorado ignition interlock program must pay to install and maintain an ignition interlock device on every vehicle they own or operate, typically at an annual cost of about $800-$1,000 per vehicle.

The duration of the interlock requirement varies with the circumstances of each case, including the presence or absence of any previous convictions. For instance, a driver convicted of a first-offense DUI with a BAC of .08 could face an eight-month interlock requirement as a condition of early reinstatement of driving privileges, while a first-time offender with a BAC of .17 could be required to use an interlock device for two years following license reinstatement. Drivers classified as habitual traffic offenders can be required to use an interlock device for up to four years following reinstatement.

Refusal of BAC Testing

Colorado drivers who refuse to have their blood alcohol concentration tested after a DUI arrest can face fines and mandatory license revocation. The first time a driver refuses to take a breath or blood test, his or her license can be revoked for one year, with the revocation period increasing to two years for the second refusal and three years for each subsequent refusal.

A driver who has his or her license suspended because of refusing a BAC test can sometimes have driving privileges reinstated early by participating in the ignition interlock program. Participants in the program can be permitted to resume driving after serving the first year of a refusal-related suspension if they use an interlock device for the remainder of the original license suspension period.

If you are facing DUI charges in Colorado, contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer for more information about your rights and legal options.