Early removal of an ignition interlock device (IID) in Colorado is possible if the following five eligibility criteria are met:
- The defendant is a first-time DUI (or DUI per se) offender;
- The defendant’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was less than 0.15%;
- The defendant was 21 at the time of the DUI;
- The defendant is a Colorado resident; and
- The defendant was in full compliance with the ignition interlock program for four straight months
Therefore, early removal of IIDs is unavailable to repeat DUI offenders or persistent drunk drivers.
Below our DUI attorneys discuss the step-by-step process for getting an IID removed early in Colorado
1. Use the IID for four months without incident
After first-time offenders for driving under the influence get convicted, the court will impose a nine-month driver’s license suspension. But once one month passes, they may be able to get a restricted driver’s license for the remaining eight months of the license revocation.
As a condition of having a restricted license for a first offense, defendants need to drive a motor vehicle with an IID. Then if they use the IID successfully for four consecutive months (120 days), they can apply for an early removal and early reinstatement of unrestricted driving privileges. The four-month start date begins when the defendant gets the restricted license, not when the IID gets installed.
In order for a Colorado DUI defendant to be in 100% compliance with interlock requirements, the defendant must have passed every breath test. This means that the defendant never blew a blood alcohol concentration of 0.025% or more (which is an extremely low BAC). Additionally, the defendant must not have been tampering with or otherwise interrupted or circumvented the device’s normal operation.
2. Contact the IID company
After four months of compliance and clean breath samples, defendants can call the interlock provider that installed the IID. They should tell the company to fax a “letter of compliance” to the Colorado DMV.
In Colorado, the companies that install IIDs include:
- 1A Smart Start at 866-348-4294,
- Intoxalock at 844-611-3710,
- Guardian at 800-499-0994, and
- #1 A LifeSafer at 800-475-5490
Defendants may have to call these companies more than once to get the compliance letter faxed. IID companies lose revenue if defendants get their devices removed early. So they are slow to notify the DMV about compliant defendants.
Note that it is good practice to contact the IID for a compliance letter, but it may not be necessary. The DMV automatically receives monthly IID updates. Once the DMV gets its fourth monthly report showing IID compliance, the DMV should mail a “removal letter” informing the defendant that he/she is eligible for early IID removal.
The DMV typically mails out these removal letters on Thursdays or Fridays, within one-to-two weeks after receiving the data showing no failed IID start attempts or tampering.
3. Wait to receive the DMV’s removal letter
If the DMV’s removal letter does not arrive, defendants can contact the DMV Interlock Department at 303-205-5613.
If the DMV refuses to send a removal letter, defendants are advised to contact an attorney and schedule a hearing with the DMV Hearing Division at 303-205-5606. A DMV hearing is like a mini-trial between the defendant and the DMV. Both sides can present evidence of the defendant’s compliance (or lack of it).
4. Go to the DMV and get a license
Upon receiving the removal letter, defendants can then go to the DMV to apply for an unrestricted license. Defendants must bring the DMV’s letter with them.
5. Have the IID removed
Once defendants have an unrestricted license, the IID company can remove the device from their vehicle(s). They should not remove the IID before getting the unrestricted license.