Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Colorado DUI Ignition Interlock

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Drinking and driving cases carry heavy consequences such as jail time, large fines, and probation. Ignition interlock devices are now a common requirement when a person is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Here are answers to commonly asked questions concerning ignition interlock as answered by Tim Bussey, a DUI attorney in Colorado Springs.

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device is a breath alcohol testing device that is installed in a vehicle. In Colorado, an approved ignition interlock device, as of February 1, 2015, must also include a camera and a GPS device. Once installed, the device prevents the car from starting if the device receives a breath sample with an alcohol content above its approved limit. If the device receives a positive alcohol sample once it is on the road, the device will alert the driver to the violation.

To have an ignition interlock device installed you must contact a vendor that has been approved by the state of Colorado.

The following are approved ignition interlock vendors in the state of Colorado:


A LifeSafer of Colorado

Smart Start, Inc.


The installation cost varies by vendor and by vehicle. Depending on the vehicle and vendor, you may be able to have the device installed for free. Contact the vendors listed above to receive a quote for installation.

Yes. When you install an ignition interlock device you are leasing the device and not buying it. The monthly lease varies from company to company and, typically, costs range between $70-$80 per month. The monthly lease also includes the cost of periodic calibration to ensure the device is accurate and functioning properly.

The ignition interlock device needs to be calibrated every 30-60 days.

In order to start your car you will need to provide a clean sample. If the device receives a sample that tests positive for alcohol the car will not start and you will have to wait at least 15 minutes before you can attempt to start the car again. You must provide a clean sample or the car will not start.

The devices are very sensitive. There are initial preset amounts of alcohol that may be acceptable but are set well below the legal limit. The general rule is that you should avoid any items that contain alcohol. This includes items such as mouthwash, perfume, cologne, or hand sanitizer, as such items have been known to provide positive samples for an ignition interlock device.

Once the car is started the ignition interlock device requires rolling retests. Rolling retests are additional breath samples that are necessary to continue driving. They are random and can occur anywhere between 4 and 45 minutes after the car is started.

No. If you can safely provide a sample while driving you do not have to stop. However, if you feel that it would be safer to pull over and stop driving to complete the test you will have 5 minutes to complete a rolling retest.

No, your car will not shut down if the device receives a positive sample. Depending on the vendor, the device might simply register the sample as a violation, activate the alarm on your car, and/or activate the horn and flashing lights on the car.

If you provide a positive sample for a rolling retest and your vehicle’s alarm, horn, and/or lights are activated you will need to pull the car over and turn off the ignition in order for it to stop.

You will be able to restart the car but will have to provide a clean sample first. Depending on the vendor, you will have to wait sometime between 5 and 15 minutes before providing a new sample.

If you have had your license revoked for excess BAC, convicted of a DUI, or refused to submit to chemical testing chances are you will be restricted to an ignition interlock device in order to legally drive in Colorado.

It varies. You must contact the Department of Motor Vehicles at (303) 205-5600 for information specific to your driving record.

Once you have completed your ignition interlock time requirements you will have to schedule to have it uninstalled by the vendor. There is an additional cost for device removal and it varies among vendors.

DUI and DWAI cases are more complicated to defend now than ever before. A person charged with a DUI needs professional guidance by a knowledgeable and experienced Colorado Springs DUI defense lawyer. The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. has a history of successfully representing their clients deal with the consequences of a DUI for decades. We can help you get your life back. Call (719) 401-0585 or contact us online to set up a consultation.

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