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    Ignition Interlock Device

    The ignition interlock device is basically a portable breath testing device that is attached to the ignition system of a vehicle. It prevents a person from starting the vehicle after consuming alcohol. It also requires the driver to submit breath samples at random intervals while driving. If alcohol is detected, the vehicle ceases normal operation. The device records all driving attempts, reports all alcohol levels detected, and reports attempts at circumventing the device.

    The provider, a company that installs and monitors the device, can answer more specific questions regarding the operation and maintenance of the device. Such providers are listed below in the Approved Interlock Companies section.

    Mandatory Ignition Interlock and Interlock-Restricted License

    As of January 1, 2001, repeat alcohol offenders are required to have the ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles after their driving privileges have been reinstated, per Colorado Revised Statute 42-2-132.5. Reinstated licenses are restricted to the use of vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device for a minimum of one year. You will be required to have the ignition interlock device:


    • Your license was revoked due to convictions for 2 alcohol-related driving offenses in five years (2DD),
    • Your license was revoked due to convictions for 3 alcohol-related driving offenses in your lifetime (3DD), or
    • Your license was revoked due to your being designated an habitual  traffic offender and at least one of your underlying convictions was for an alcohol-related driving offense (HTO/Alcohol);


    • Your last offense occurred after July 1, 2000.


    • You are defined as a persistent drunk driver by 42-1- 102(68.5) C.R.S., in which case a 2-year requirement applies to all offenses after July 1, 2004.

    Drivers who fall into the above categories will be allowed to reinstate only with a restricted license that limits their driving to vehicles with an ignition interlock device. The interlock driver bears all costs of the ignition interlock device.

    Interlock Documents Required for Reinstatement

    1. A certificate of installation of the interlock device from an authorized provider.
    2. A signed lease agreement for the device that is valid for the entire time required.
    3. A signed ignition interlock agreement. This affidavit, DR2058 (Restricted License Ignition Interlock Agreement Affidavit) certifies that the driver has a lease agreement for each vehicle that he/she has an ownership interest in, or to which he/she will have access to drive, during the restriction period, and that he/she has the consent of the owner or co-owner of any ignition interlock vehicles. Note: Here is a printable copy of DR2058.  This affidavit is also available at the Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles website on the All Forms by Number page.

    Discharge Referral Summary

    A driver must complete a discharge referral summary form, which shows completion of alcohol education and therapy, or enrollment in a course. These forms are typically available from the person’s alcohol/drug treatment provider, and after completed, are turned into the DMV office, usually at the same time the person undergoes both a written and driving test, the latter conducted in the interlock vehicle.  A driver must successfully pass these tests to receive his/her restricted license.

    Early Reinstatement with Interlock

    Some individuals subject to driving restraints related to alcohol issues may be allowed to reinstate their driving privileges ahead of their normal eligibility date if they participate in the ignition interlock program. This early reinstatement program is limited to drivers who:

    • Are residents of Colorado,
    • Currently have their driving privileges revoked for an alcohol-related restraint that is longer than a year in length,
    • Must have satisfied all reinstatement requirements (other than time), including completion of required alcohol education and therapy,
    • Have already served at least one year of the alcohol-related restraint.

    Driver Services Section Provides Analysis for Early Reinstatement

    Drivers wanting to know if they are eligible to participate in the early-reinstatement program should call Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles-Driver Services at 303-205-5613 and request analysis for early reinstatement. The result of the analysis will be available after 24 hours. Drivers must call back for the determination and the eligibility date if applicable.

    The interlock driver bears all costs of the ignition interlock device.

    The process for getting the restricted license is the same as a person in the mandatory program (see Interlock Documents Required for Reinstatement).

    Drivers who reinstate early with the interlock must keep the restricted license for the length of time remaining on their restraint or one year, whichever is longer. If the driver is defined as a persistent drunk driver, the minimum requirement is two years.

    Approved Interlock Companies

    National Interlock Service (CO) Ltd. 1-800-475-5490 Aurora, CO 80011-4649

    Smart Start, Inc. 1-800-880-3394 Westminster, CO 80030

    Draeger Safety Diagnostics, Inc. 1-800-332-6858 Denver, CO 80216

    Guardian Interlock Systems 1-800-499-0994 Denver, CO 80022

    Please refer to the Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles website for updated information about interlock providers. Installation fees and rental costs for the interlock device may vary. Check with the individual providers for specifics concerning costs.


    Any interlock-restricted driver who either drives a non-equipped vehicle or attempts to circumvent the proper functioning of the device is subject to a license revocation with no driving for at least one year. Any such driver may also be charged with a class I misdemeanor and be subject to a fine and/or jail time on conviction. At the end of the license revocation just described, the driver must again have the interlock installed for reinstatement.

    The device must be serviced every 60 days. An interlock-restricted driver who fails to report for device servicing is subject to a license suspension with no driving until that driver comes back into compliance. Any driver whose interlock lease is canceled by the provider will be suspended until the driver enters into a new lease agreement. If the device prevents operation of the vehicle due to detected blood-alcohol content in three of any twelve consecutive months, then the interlock-restricted driver must keep the interlock device and be under the interlock restriction for an additional year.

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    H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
    Attorney and Counselor at Law
    The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
    A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
    Colorado Criminal Law For Over 40 Years.
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    8400 East Prentice Ave, Penthouse 1500
    Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111
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