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What is an Interlock Restricted License in Colorado?

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP January 28, 2022

If you have been charged with driving under the influence, driving while ability impaire, or underage drinking and driving you may have heard that you could be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle in order to obtain a restricted license for a period of time. This is likely true, depending on the outcome of your case and of the related administrative proceedings through the Department of Revenue. While installing and maintaining an ignition interlock device can be costly and inconvenient, it allows individuals to operate a vehicle when otherwise they may be prohibited from doing so. If you have any questions about the interlock device, an interlock restricted license, or anything else related to driving under the influence, contact a Boulder DUI defense attorney for help right away.

After you’ve had your license suspended, a restricted license allows you to operate your vehicle in certain situations before you’re fully able to reinstate your driving privileges.

How Does the Ignition Interlock Device Work?

An ignition interlock device is essentially a breathalyzer machine that is installed in your car. In order to start up the car, and drive your vehicle, you will have to blow into the machine to prove that you do not have any alcohol in your system. You will sometimes be required to blow into the machine as you are driving as well to keep the car operating. This is done so that individuals with the interlock device in their car don’t get drunk and then have a sober person blow into the machine before the car is started so the convicted person can drive after having consumed alcohol.

In order to prevent accidents while blowing into a machine while actually driving a car, these random breath tests that must be done while the individual is driving usually allow between 4 and 6 minutes to pull over the car and blow into the machine. This allows the driver to safely prove that they are alcohol-free.

Price of Ignition Interlock Device

While it’s definitely helpful to be able to drive with a restricted license instead of having your license suspended for an extended period of time, it is sometimes an expense that people just can’t afford. Maintaining the device requires the individual who has the device in their car to bring it to the interlock device company to be calibrated. Not only is this a monthly expense, but it also takes time out of a person’s day and may interrupt their work schedule or their ability to pick up their kids from school. Still, it’s often a better option than not being able to drive at all.

If you need to have an ignition interlock device installed or you are trying to have your license reinstated earlier than your sentence originally allowed, or if you have any other questions regarding an interlock-restricted license, contact us today for assistance.