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How to get early removal of my interlock device in Colorado

Posted by Neil Shouse | Feb 05, 2020 | 0 Comments

Step 1: Meet the preconditions

Colorado DUI defendants may be eligible for early removal of their ignition interlock device (IID). First, they would need to meet the following criteria:

  1. First-time DUI offender;
  2. The blood alcohol content (BAC) was lower than 0.15%;
  3. Under 21 years old at the time of the DUI;
  4. Colorado residency; and
  5. At least four uninterrupted months of full IID compliance

Repeat DUI offenders and persistent drunk drivers (PDDs) cannot get their IIDs removed early.

Step 2: Use the IID perfectly for four months

A first-time DUI in Colorado carries a 9-month driver's license suspension. But after a month, defendants can resume driving with an IID.

If defendants then drive for 4 months in full IID compliance, then they can apply for early IID removal. Full IID compliance means:

  • No tampering, and
  • No failed breath tests (no BAC of 0.025% or higher)

Note that the 4-month time frame begins the day the IID-restricted license is granted. This may be several days after the IID is actually installed.

Step 3: Contact the IID company for a compliance letter

Once defendants use and drive with the IID without incident for 4 months, they can call the IID company. This is the same company that installed the IID.

Defendants need to request that they fax the Colorado DMV a "letter of compliance" right away. In practice, defendants may need to call the IID company again to remind them to fax the letter. These companies are in zero rush to let the DMV know that their customers are qualified for early removal. The earlier the IIDs get taken out, the less they get paid.

Step 4: Wait to receive the DMV's removal letter

Once the DMV receives the compliance letter from the IID company, they should mail the defendant a removal letter. In practice, the DMV mails out these letters at the end of the week. Defendants can call the DMV Interlock Department at 303-205-5613 to check on the status of the letter.

The DMV normally sends a removal letter without any trouble. But in case they do not, defendants should contact an attorney. The attorney can then request a DMV Hearing. This is like a small-scale trial where defendants can show evidence of their IID compliance.

Step 5: Go to the DMV and get a license

Once defendants have the DMV's removal letter in their possession, they can go to the DMV to apply for a full reinstatement of their driving privileges. Defendants should bring the original removal letter with them when they show up to the DMV branch.

Step 6: Have the IID removed

After the DMV reinstates defendants' full driving privileges, they can get the IID removed. But they may not remove the device themselves. They must go to the company that originally installed it.

Step 7: Cancel the SR22 insurance (if there was no accident)

Defendants may be able to cancel their SR22 insurance. But this is only if their DUI did not result in an accident. Otherwise, it is mandatory that they have SR22 for at least 3 years. Defendants should contact their attorney to check whether they need to keep SR22 insurance in their particular case.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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