Colorado is the first state in the country to use wearable devices that monitor an individual’s drug or alcohol use. The device allows law enforcement to monitor the wearer around the clock. It enables first-time offenders convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs to apply for early license reinstatement with an interlock-restricted license immediately. It also can be used by those charged with more serious impaired driving offenses (repeat offenders, high alcohol levels). The new law requires 90 days of continuous monitoring for those charged with their third subsequent offense. Anyone the device detects as drinking or using drugs can have their probation revoked, which may mean they are sent to jail.
Benefits of the device
There are several benefits to employing this technology, including:
- Those convicted can return to work (as long as it doesn’t involve a commercial driver’s license).
- Those convicted can resume their parental obligations.
- Those convicted can return to the road sooner.
- The state can monitor those at risk without the expense of incarceration.
The cost of using this device is $8-$10 per day. Those who cannot afford it will have the cost covered by the judicial system.
There are exceptions to the rule:
- People who live in an area where they cannot reasonably obtain the device.
- It is not in the best interests of law enforcement to employ the technology.
A new option
Under the new law, the state expects around 900 individuals to use the devices annually. Those charged with a DUI or DWAI are innocent until proven guilty and can still fight the charges, but it may also be helpful to discuss the use of this device with their attorney.