Colorado Ignition Interlock Device FAQ

Colorado drivers who have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol should learn about the state’s ignition interlock requirement.

Among the many penalties that drivers in Colorado may face for a drunk driving offense is the required use of an ignition interlock device (IID). An IID is a mechanism by which the law attempts to prevent people arrested for driving under the influence from doing so again.

At McAdams Law Office in Greeley, we have comprehensive knowledge regarding IIDs. We've put together some of the most frequently asked questions to help you get started.

How does an IID work?

As explained by Intoxalock, an ignition interlock device company, IIDs are comprised of many components. These include an electronic chip wired into a vehicle's ignition. Also connected is a handheld breath sensor unit into which a driver blows. The unit then registers the driver's breath alcohol content and sends that information to the ignition chip.

If the BAC level is acceptable, the chip allows the ignition to be started. If the BAC test is failed, the chip retains a lock on the ignition and the driver is unable to start the vehicle. Some units also include cameras that take a driver's picture during the testing process.

What is a rolling retest?

Once a vehicle has been allowed to be started, a driver will be prompted periodically to take subsequent tests. These are legally allowed to be taken even while the person is actively driving the car but the driver may also pull over to take these tests.

If a rolling retest is failed, the vehicle's horn may sound and the lights flash until the vehicle is brought to a stop. The IID device cannot force a vehicle to shut down. Rolling retests happen at random intervals.

How accurate are IIDs?

While ignition interlock devices are monitored, some things may interfere with their ability to provide accurate results. Mouthwash, for example, may register as alcohol and should be avoided for at least 10 or 15 minutes prior to using an IID.

When do I need an IID?

Anyone who has been convicted of a first DUI offense in Colorado and wants to regain the right to drive may need an IID. This can only be done after the driver has served at least one month of the license suspension period. People with one DUI conviction will need to use an IID for 12 months.

How much does an IID cost?

Drivers must pay the cost of ignition interlock devices. The Colorado Department of Transportation estimates this can cost a driver over $1,000 in part depending upon how long the IID is to be used.

How can I learn more?

After a drunk driving arrest, it is important for Colorado residents to talk with an attorney. Learning the facts about the penalties, including ignition interlock devices, is an important part of the defense process.

Call McAdams Law Office today at 970-573-7765 or email us for a free initial consultation.