If I Get an Interlock Device After a Colorado DUI, Can I Have My License Back?

If you have been charged with a DUI and have had your license suspended, you are likely wondering what you can do to get it back. 

The first thing you should do is talk to a Colorado Springs DUI lawyer.

In Colorado, one of the requirements for having your driving privileges reinstated after a DUI is to have an interlock device installed in your vehicle. Read on for more information about when an interlock is required to reinstate your license, and how long you will be required to use the device.

What is a License Suspension?

A suspended driver’s license is an administrative action that temporarily bars you from legally operating a motor vehicle. There are many reasons why a driver’s license can be suspended in Colorado, including for various alcohol offenses such as driving under the influence, or refusing to submit to blood or breath testing when an officer suspects you of driving under the influence.

Generally, when an individual has their license suspended, they will be given a list of tasks that must be accomplished in order to have the license reinstated. For individuals convicted of alcohol offenses, this often includes not only the installation of an interlock device, but the payment of fines and fees, attendance in alcohol education classes, mandatory mental health counseling, and community service.

What is an Interlock?

An interlock is a device that is installed on motor vehicles that requires the driver to submit a breath sample before starting the car. If the sample reveals an elevated alcohol concentration level, then the vehicle will not start. Likewise, the driver will be required to submit random breath samples while driving. If it is discovered that the driver opted to instead use a non-equipped vehicle or attempted to circumvent the functioning of the interlock, the individual faces revocation of their license for at least a year as well as potential jail time.

The device is installed at the driver’s expense, and must be calibrated every sixty days. If the interlock device prevents the operation of the vehicle in any three of the past 12 consecutive months, the driver can be subject to license suspension and/or an increased interlock requirement. Drivers can be sentenced to up to a year of additional interlock use for each time the interlock detects an elevated level of alcohol on the breath. While fees vary somewhat according to the vendor providing installation and service of the device, the estimated cost of having an interlock is about $1,000 a year. 

When You Need an Interlock Device after a DUI in Colorado

You will likely need an interlock in the following circumstances:

  • You were charged with a DUI. First-time offenders are eligible for reinstatement after a month of revocation if they chose a breath or blood test, and after 2 months of a revocation if they refused testing. Drivers must use the interlock device for 2 years for a high blood alcohol content of over .15, and 9 months for a low BAC. For subsequent offenses, reinstatement eligibility is also after one month, with 2 years of mandatory interlock use.
  • You refused to submit to chemical testing when arrested on suspicion of DUI. In Colorado, obtaining a driver’s license indicates your implied consent for chemical testing to be ordered if you are suspected of DUI. Individuals are eligible for reinstatement after two months, with a 2-year interlock requirement.
  • You are a habitual offender. Habitual offenders are defined as those who have been convicted of three qualifying offenses in the past 7 years. Qualifying offenses include driving under suspension or revocation; driving while ability impaired (DWAI); driving under the influence (DUI); reckless driving; vehicular assault; and vehicular homicide.

You’ve Been Ordered to Obtain an Interlock Device. Now What?

If you’ve confirmed with the DMV that you are eligible for reinstatement with an interlock device, you can select an approved vendor to install the device. Once the installation has taken place, you will want to obtain documentation from the vendor about the device’s installation. The documentation you will need for reinstatement includes:

  •  Restricted License Ignition Interlock Agreement Affidavit DR 2058 
  • Installation Certificate and Lease Agreement, as issued by the interlock provider
  • Application for Reinstatement (Form DR 2870)
  • Payment of $95. This fee can be paid by check or money order and must be made payable to the Colorado Department of Revenue
  • SR22 from your insurance company
  • Required Alcohol and Drug Education certificate
  • Proof of completion of alcohol education courses, as sentenced by the court

License reinstatements after a lengthy period of suspension from an alcohol offense are done by mail only. Once you have mailed all of the required documents, it will take up to 20 days for your reinstatement to be completed. You will be notified of the reinstatement and be instructed to schedule your written and driving exams.

Once your interlock sentence has ended, you will be free to apply for an unrestricted license. You can also contact the interlock vendor to schedule the removal of the device.

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