Installation of ignition interlock devices (IID) on vehicles can be a court-ordered penalty following a DUI conviction. Understanding the requirements associated with these devices, as well as how they work and how to maintain them, can be crucial to abiding by court orders and avoiding more legal problems.

Diving deeper in the details of IIDs, the following shares some important answers to common questions about ignition interlock devices and DUIs. While this information is generally helpful, contact a Broomfield DUI lawyer at The Datz Law Firm whenever you need answers regarding a DUI defense case. We are ready to explain your rights and options, what to expect as you proceed and how we can help you fight for the best possible resolution to your case.

Driver using an interlock device in Broomfield, CO

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Q – How Do Ignition Interlock Devices Work?

A – In basic terms, ignition interlock devices work by requiring drivers to submit breath samples in order to start their vehicles. These devices will then instantly check if a person has alcohol in his system and, if so, will prevent the vehicle from turning on.

Once the vehicle has been started with an alcohol-free breath sample, the device will usually require samples to be submitted periodically as the vehicle is being driven.


Q – What Happens If I Try to Get Someone Else to Breathe into the Device?

A – This is a common way people may try to get around having to breathe into their ignition interlock devices.

If a driver gets someone else to submit a breath sample into an ignition interlock device and this does end up starting the car, problems can arise within minutes of driving because IIDs require the submission of periodic breath samples.


Q – Will I Be Ordered to Have an IID Installed on My Vehicle If I’m Convicted of DUI?

A – Whether or not your DUI conviction will result in court orders to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle will depend on various factors, only some of which include:

  • Whether you submitted to chemical testing during your DUI stop – If you refused to submit to breath or blood testing during your DUI stop and you are ultimately convicted of drunk driving, you will likely be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for a period of 2 years.
  • Your blood alcohol level at the time of your DUI arrest – If you had a BAC of 0.15 or more and your DUI arrest occurred after January 1, 2014 (or if you had a BAC of 0.17 or more and your DUI arrest occurred prior to January 1, 2014), you will likely be required to have an IID installed on your vehicle as part of the terms of your DUI conviction and probation.
  • Whether you have prior DUI convictions – If you have a prior DUI conviction within 5 years of your current DUI case, you will likely be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for a period of 2 years. If your current DUI conviction is your third DUI (regardless of how much time has passed since your prior cases), you will also likely have to have an IID installed on your vehicle for at least 2 years.

Keep in mind that the terms of ignition interlock device installations will only begin after a person’s driver’s license has been reinstated. In other words, a driver convicted of a DUI will have to fulfill the term of any license suspension, do what is necessary to get the license reinstated and then fulfill the IID requirements set forth by the court.


Q – What Are the Costs Associated with Ignition Interlock Devices?

A – Ignition interlock devices are generally associated with two types of costs: the installation costs and the monthly maintenance costs. While these costs will vary slightly from vendor to vendor, on average, they total between about $800 and $1,000 annually.

Here, it’s also important to point out that:

  • The people convicted of DUI will be responsible for covering these costs.
  • Missing a monthly payment can result in a vendor stopping service on a device, and this could constitute a probation violation (depending, of course, on an individual’s case).
  • Financial assistance to cover IID costs may available through the Department of Revenue.


Q – What Happens If the Ignition Interlock Device Detects Alcohol on My Breath?

A – If you try to start your vehicle after having consumed any alcohol and the device detects the alcohol in your system:

  • The car will not start.
  • The ignition interlock device will report the “failed” attempt to the vendor.
  • The IID vendor will, then, report the failure to the proper authorities (typically the probation department).

Three failed attempts within a 12-month period can result in an extension of the IID requirement, with authorities adding one or more years to the term that these devices must remain on the vehicle.


Q – Do I Have to Get an Ignition Interlock Device Installed on All of My Vehicles or Just the One I Usually Drive?

A – All of the vehicles you drive will need to have an ignition interlock device installed on them to ensure that you are never trying to drive after having imbibed alcohol.

While people may try to drive friends’ or family members’ vehicles to try to get around dealing with IIDs on their own vehicles, it’s critical to be aware that, if you are caught doing this (because, for instance, you are pulled over by a cop for a minor traffic offense), you can be required to maintain ignition interlock devices on all of your vehicles for another year.


Q – Where Can I Get an Ignition Interlock Device Installed on My Vehicle?

A – You must go to a state-approved vendor in order to get an IID installed on your vehicle. According to the Department of Revenue, the following vendors are currently approved by the state to install and maintain ignition interlock devices:

  • #1 A Life Safer of CO – (800) 475-5490
  • 1A Smart Start, Inc. – (800) 880-3394
  • Draeger – (855) 543-4405
  • Guardian – (800) 499-0994
  • Intoxalock – (877) 777-5020


Get More Answers Now: Contact an Experienced Broomfield DUI Lawyer at The Datz Law Firm

If you or a loved one has been arrested for or charged with a DUI, a Broomfield DUI lawyer at The Datz Law Firm is ready to provide you with vigorous defense representation.

Call (720) 879-1114 or email us for a case evaluation, honest answers and essential legal advice regarding your options and how to proceed.

At The Datz Law Firm, we know how stressful and consuming DUI cases can be. That is why we are committed to helping our clients effectively fight DUI charges, get through the challenging times and move forward into a brighter future.

Known for providing compassionate representation and aggressive advocacy, our Broomfield DUI attorneys are proud to offer the same type of client-centered service that we would demand if we were in our clients’ shoes. From our Broomfield offices, we represent clients from across the state of Colorado in various types of DUI and other criminal cases.