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When must an ignition interlock device be used in Colorado?

An ignition interlock device is an instrument installed in a vehicle that measures the amount of alcohol in a person's system through a breath test, not unlike the roadside breath tests a police officer might ask you to submit to. If the ignition interlock device indicates that a motorist has even a nominal amount of alcohol in their system, the vehicle will not start. The instrument also requires motorists to periodically submit a breath sample while driving.

If a person in Colorado is convicted of drunk driving per se two or more times, meaning their blood alcohol concentration was 0.08% or above, they may be ordered to use an ignition interlock device for two years, although early reinstatement may be an option in some cases.

If a person in Colorado is convicted of driving under the influence, with a BAC of 0.15% or more or if they refuse to submit to a breath test during a lawful traffic stop, they will be deemed a Persistent Drunk Driver. These motorists may also be ordered to use an ignition interlock device for a certain period.

Having to use an ignition interlock device can make one's life very difficult. The threshold for alcohol in a person's system that will disable a vehicle is very low, much lower than the legal limit. This means that if a motorist must use an ignition interlock device, it is possible that having consumed even one drink could stop their car from starting, even if they are not intoxicated. To avoid these harsh consequences, it is important to develop a solid drunk driving defense strategy to have those charges reduced or dismissed altogether.

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