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Colorado changing its Ignition Interlock Laws

Many states have mandatory ignition interlock laws. They require individuals who lose their driver’s license because of an alcohol offense to install an interlock before reinstating their privilege to drive. The interlock device requires the motorist to provide a breath sample before the vehicle will start. Then, while driving the driver is randomly required to give additional breath samples. The driver must pay to have the interlock installed in his or her vehicle and pay a monthly fee while installed.Under the Colorado Express Consent Law, a person can find his or her privilege to drive revoked for driving with a BAC of 0.08 or above, or for refusing to give a blood alcohol test. In order to reinstate his or her privilege to drive early with a restricted license, it is necessary to comply with ignition interlock laws.The current Colorado law requires individuals with multiple Express Consent Revocations, multiple alcohol convictions or a refusal to go one year without driving. After one year, the individual is eligible to receive an Interlock restricted license. However, effective January 1, 2014, the rules change.

What Is Changing?

Beginning January 1, individuals who lose their privilege to drive for one year or longer because of an alcohol driving offense may apply for an Interlock restricted license after one month (30 days) of no driving. However, if the individual refused to submit to a blood or breath test, they will have to go two months (60 days) of no driving before they are allowed to request an Interlock restricted license. For all individuals who lost their privilege to drive for one year or longer prior to January 1, 2014, they will be eligible to apply for an Interlock restricted license on January 1, 2014. In all of these situations, the individual has to keep the interlock installed on his or her vehicle for a minimum of two years.

Importantly, the Colorado Legislature did not change their ignition interlock laws for first offenders who have a BAC of 0.08 or above. These drivers are still required to go 30 days with no driving. Then they are eligible for an Interlock restricted license. These individuals will have to maintain the interlock on their vehicles for eight months, unless their BAC was 0.15 or above. In this case, the law requires an installed interlock for two years.

The Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles has a number of requirements that must be followed to receive an Interlock restricted license. The reinstatement process can be very confusing for some. Having an attorney working with you who knows this process can be very helpful. In addition to a license revocation, a DUI conviction will carry other significant penalties. Fines, court costs and fees, community service, alcohol classes and possible jail are consequences that are possible in the court system.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Colorado, it is important that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you protect your rights. An attorney will be able to address your concerns and help you maneuver the complex DMV system and court system. Because each case is different, you need to work with someone who knows how to build the best possible defense based upon the facts present in your specific situation.

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