Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) can be required after a Colorado DUI conviction. Often just one part of probation, IIDs come with strict requirements. Failing to comply with the orders regarding IIDs—and failing to properly maintain these devices—can lead to new headaches, costs, and potentially additional penalties.

To avoid making a misstep, learn Colorado interlock laws and requirements with this helpful guide. It answers the most common questions and shares important resources to help anyone figure out how to get and successfully get through having an ignition interlock device in Colorado.

What Is an IID? How Do Ignition Interlock Devices Work?

IIDs are breathalyzers attached to vehicle ignition systems. They require a driver to submit an alcohol-free breath sample to start a car. They also require periodic breath samples while someone is driving to verify continuous sobriety. This is called the “rolling test” in Colorado, and most devices will request samples every 5 or so minutes while a vehicle is on.

If an ignition interlock device detects any alcohol on a driver’s breath:

  • It will not let the vehicle start if they are off.

  • It will signal a driver to pull over, with the specific instructions for submitting another sample. Ignition interlock devices are never supposed to turn off vehicles that are running.

When IIDs detect alcohol on a driver’s breath (after multiple samples have been submitted), the vendor will generally report the failure to the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and/or a DUI probation department.

What DUI Offenses Come with an IID Requirement?

Colorado drivers typically have to get ignition interlock devices if they have refused a breathalyzer or blood test request from a police officer during a traffic stop or if they are convicted of a drunk driving offense.


IID Requirement

License Revocation Term (Must Be Served Before IID Term)

1st Chemical Test Refusal

2 years

2 months

1st DUI Conviction Lower BACs

8 months

1 month

1st DUI Conviction BACs of 0.15 or More

2 years

1 month

2nd Chemical Test Refusal

2 years

2 months

2nd DUI Conviction

2 years

1 month

3rd Chemical Test Refusal

2 years

2 months

Those designated as “habitual DUI offenders” will have to wait at least 1 year before they may be eligible to seek license reinstatement and then get an IID as part of the terms of the reinstatement. Habitual offenders are those who have been convicted of 3 of the following offenses within a 7-year period:

  • DUI or DWAI

  • Reckless driving

  • Vehicular assault, vehicular manslaughter, or vehicular homicide

Where Should I Get an Ignition Interlock Device Installed?

Once their license has been reinstated, drivers who are required to get an ignition interlock device should get it installed at a state-approved vendor. Here is the list of approved IID vendors in Colorado.

When drivers are required to have an ignition interlock device in order to get a driver’s license after a Colorado DUI (or chemical test refusal), they will have to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicles they drive. If people drive work vehicles, they will have to get permission from an employer to drive that vehicle.

How Much Do Ignition Interlock Devices Cost?

The costs to install and maintain IIDs vary by vendor. Generally, it costs a couple of hundred dollars to install and remove these devices and between about $50 to $100 to maintain them every 60 days.

Drivers have to pay these costs unless they qualify and apply for a fee waiver, which is granted based on need. If drivers fail to meet the financial obligations they have as part of the requirement of maintaining an IID for a license, a vendor can turn off or lockout the device.

Here, it’s also crucial to note that vendors may deactivate ignition interlock devices if drivers fail to keep up with the required maintenance, which calibrates and cleans these devices (among other things). So, it’s not in drivers’ best interests to try to avoid paying maintenance costs by skipping this required service.

What Happens If I Violate the Terms of My IID Requirement?

The penalties for violating IID requirements depending on the nature of the violation. Some of the most common ways people fail to comply with the terms of having an ignition interlock device include:

  • Tampering with the device: Usually, this involves attempts to remove IIDs. Device tampering can result in a one-year license revocation without the option for early reinstatement. After that, a driver will, once again, have to have an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle as a term of reinstatement.

  • Driving a vehicle that doesn’t have an IID: This type of IID violation is usually discovered during a traffic stop when drivers are found in cars not equipped with ignition interlock devices. It can occur when drivers borrow vehicles, buy new vehicles, or borrow work vehicles without proper permission. Like device tampering, driving vehicles without IIDs can result in a one-year license revocation without the option for early reinstatement.

  • Submitting breath samples with alcohol: Failures to “pass” IID breath tests can result in license revocation and possibly a DUI probation violation. If the reason for the failure that a driver was trying to operate his or her vehicle while intoxicated, (s)he could face fines, jail time, additional community service hours, and possibly other penalties.

    • NOTE: When ignition interlock devices detect alcohol in breath samples three times within any 12-month period, drivers can have their IID term increased by one year. In fact, they will have to have an ignition interlock on their cars for an additional year for every 3 failures detected. So, 6 failures within 12 months would mean two years added to an IID term.

When it comes to ignition interlock devices and DUIs in Colorado, the bottom line is that the laws are complicated—and the best way to avoid problems is by knowing the laws and having a strong defense whenever you’ve been arrested for or charged with drunk driving in Colorado.

Fight DUI Charges with a Strategic Defense & An Experienced Parker DUI Attorney

If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges in Colorado, you need a lawyer who you can rely on for a strong defense and fierce representation. You need an experienced Parker DUI attorney at the Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC.

Our highly experienced, exceptionally skilled professionals are ready to fight aggressively for you. We can protect your rights and guide you at every step that it takes to resolve a drunk driving case. Tireless and dedicated, we know how to get acquittals, dismissals, alternative sentencing, and other favorable resolutions. Find out how we can help you fight DUI charges.

Call or email our firm for a confidential, no-obligation consultation.

It’s never too early to contact a lawyer and start your defense. Reach out to the Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC ASAP to get a strong defense team in your corner now. Known for excellence in DUI defense, we are the partners you can trust in a range of impaired driving cases, including those that involve misdemeanor and felony charges, additional criminal charges, DUIs without a license, and more,

Discover the difference our team can make by contacting the Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC for a consultation today.