CO Interlock Restricted License: What Is It?

In Colorado, a conviction for a DUI brings with it numerous other limitations and consequences that people may not anticipate. In many cases, your ability to drive can be impacted, and you can either lose your license completely or be required to drive with an interlock restricted license.

What is an interlock restricted license, and how does it work? Who is eligible for one? Here’s what you need to know about these types of licenses and what it can mean for your ability to stay behind the wheel in the wake of a DUI.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

Before you can understand what an interlock restricted license is, you first must know what an ignition interlock device is. These are devices that are mounted in your vehicle, usually on the starter of the vehicle.

In order to start your car or truck, you first have to use this device by breathing into a tube. The device measures your blood alcohol content. This must fall under a specified amount for the car to start.

In Colorado, these devices will also prompt you to take random breath tests as you drive. These rolling re-tests require you to pull over and blow into the interlock device. You can keep driving once it is determined that you are still not drinking and driving.

What Is an Interlock Restricted License?

A license with an interlock restriction allows you to only drive vehicles that have been outfitted with an ignition interlock device. It needs to be functioning properly, and it should be specifically calibrated to your physicality.

This kind of license allows you to be able to drive to school, work, or to pick up your children, but it requires you to verify that you are sober before heading anywhere.

This may sound like a great solution for people who are convicted of a DUI over losing their license, but it comes with its own issues: Namely, the high cost and burdensome nature of the device, as well as embarrassment when you have to use it in front of others.

Is It Possible to Trick the Device?

Some people may not take ignition interlock devices seriously. They may think fooling them is easy, but that shouldn’t be assumed. Often, small cameras are embedded in the devices, along with biometric signatures calibrated specifically to you.

If someone sober tries to blow in it so that you can start the car when you have been drinking, chances are you will get caught. If you do try to cheat, then you may lose your driver’s license immediately, and as well as any prior suspension of DUI sentencing.

Who Has to Get an Interlock Restricted License?

In Colorado, there are many circumstances that can lead to the requirement of an interlock restricted license. Most commonly, it’s used in first DUI convictions after a mandatory one-month license suspension.

In cases where your blood alcohol content was above 0.15 percent, you may have to get an interlock device installed on your vehicle for two years. Also, some people who have refused testing after being pulled over for the suspicion of a DUI will be required to use an ignition interlock on their vehicles for two years.

Colorado Springs DUI Lawyer

The Cost of Ignition Interlocks

If you must have a device installed on your car, then the expense of that and any other expenses related to the device fall on you. Just the installation can amount to hundreds of dollars, and monitoring fees can run upwards of $80 per month.


About the Author:

Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his clients’ rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.