Drivers in Colorado might one day purchase new cars with ignition interlock technology built into them.

Drivers in Colorado who find themselves arrested for drunk driving can feel scared and unsure of what will happen. They know that the state takes a very tough stance on driving while under the influence. Many harsh penalties can be incurred including jail time, significant fines and substance abuse treatment programs. In addition, many people lose the right to drive for a specific period of time. Once driving privileges are reinstated, the driver will likely be ordered to install and use an ignition interlock devices.

Who can be ordered to use an IID in Colorado?

A driver with a blood alcohol result between .08 and .149 will likely lose their driving privilege for a nine month period (on a first offense). There is a one month period during which no driving privilege may be granted, but with the installation of an ignition interlock device, that driver will be permitted to drive and will be required to keep the IID for a period of 8 months. If that driver has no indications of alcohol use for 4 months, they will be permitted to uninstall the IID.

A driver who has a test result of .150 or greater will also have to wait for 1 month before being permitted to drive with the Ignition Interlock Device, but that driver will be required to maintain an IID for a 2 year period.

A driver who is alleged to have refused chemical testing will be required to wait for 2 months before being permitted to drive with the ignition interlock and will be required to keep the device for 2 years

What does an IID do?

An ignition interlock device collects breath alcohol data and either locks or unlocks a vehicle’s ignition based upon the results. After a driver has been allowed to start and drive the vehicle, subsequent "rolling" tests will be required. When this happens, an alert is given and the driver must blow into the IID. These devices are an attempt to prevent repeat drunk driving.

While current models of ignition interlock devices utilize breath testing technology, touch technology is being investigated as a means by which IIDs can detect potential intoxication. In these systems, sensors would be installed into a vehicle’s steering wheel. This research is being led by the Driver Alcohol Detection System.

In addition to new ways of collecting data about a driver’s alcohol level, research is also being done to consider embedding IID functionality into new cars. BoldRide.com notes that Congress has voiced support for this approach and select vehicle manufacturers are investigating it.

How to get help after a DUI arrest in Colorado

Being stopped by police, subjected to field sobriety testing and arrested can be a confusing and difficult experience for drivers. Anyone who has gone through this should contact an attorney as soon as possible to get help with a defense.