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Colorado eliminates wait for ignition interlock systems

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2023 | Criminal Law, DUI and DWAI Charges |

There are many benefits to hiring a lawyer when facing DUI charges. An important one for many is that a lawyer can argue to get their client back on the road after a conviction. This work enables the client to perform such crucial tasks as doing their job and addressing the needs of their family. One option for minimal disruption to the client’s life is an ignition interlock system (IIS) that allows the driver to blow into a Breathalyzer-like device before the car starts.

A new law took effect in Colorado that allows those convicted of DUI to immediately apply for a restricted license based on using an IIS. Previously, there was a mandatory 30-day license suspension before applying for the restricted license and IIS.

The reality was impossible to ignore

Like it or not, politicians had to come to grips with some hard facts:

“People were driving anyway,” explains Colorado Senator Chris Hansen. He added that illegal drivers caused additional problems. “There was no device in place, and they might be drunk again. It was leading to repeat offenses even in that short period, which, of course, is hugely damaging to public safety.”

Suspensions don’t work

Even Mothers Against Drunk Drivers supported the law, pointing out that 75% to 80% of people convicted of DUI continue to drive, feeling they had no choice but to take the risk. MADD claims that the IIS reduces repeat offenses by two-thirds, a win-win for those using the IIS and others sharing the roads with them.

New monitoring for individuals

The new law also establishes a 90-day monitoring period for drivers with three or more DUIs. Rather than being installed in a vehicle, the convicted individual wears the monitor, which tracks their sobriety.

Those charged still have options

It is an attorney’s job to protect the interests and freedoms of their clients. It starts with protecting clients from unfair convictions, but sometimes this involves exploring sentencing alternatives like an IIS that don’t include unnecessary hardship.