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How to handle an interlock device extension notice

Colorado has some harsh penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol, often including the loss of driving privileges. To restore yours, you may be able to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. This device requires you to submit an alcohol-free breath sample both to start and to continue to drive your car, truck or SUV.

If you have three violations during 12 consecutive reporting periods, you may receive notice that the Department of Motor Vehicles is extending your interlock requirement. This is not good, as you must continue to pay for the device and its calibration and hold a restricted license. You may not have to simply accept the extension, though.

A request for a hearing

You have a right to request a hearing to determine if the extension mandate is appropriate. It may take a while to receive a hearing notice, though, as the DMV usually has a backlog. The Hearings Division has the option of delaying your interlock extension, although it has no legal obligation to do so.

The scope of the hearing

The purpose of your hearing is to determine whether you have enough violations to warrant an extension of your ignition interlock.

A violation is usually a lockout for excessive alcohol in your breath sample. Any BAC over 0.025% or more is excessive. A reporting period is a calendar month, which begins on the first day of a month and ends on the last. Having lockouts during any three months in the previous year typically triggers an extension of the interlock requirement.

Ultimately, if the Hearings Division determines you should have an extension, you may also ask the Division to shorten the length of your extension.

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