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All Press Releases for December 06, 2013 »
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Colorado has yet to develop a mandatory ignition interlock device program

Law enforcement increases patrols over the holiday period in an effort to catch drunk drivers.
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    December 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- As the holidays approach, the Colorado Department of Transportation is out in full force, targeting those who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in attempts to lower the DUI fatality statistics. In 2011, 161 people lost their lives due to a drunk driving accident involving a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, which represents 36 percent of all traffic deaths in Colorado. Surprisingly, this is a 34 percent increase from 2010. Colorado citizens, lawmakers, and national legislators are taking a serious look at this issue because of these alarming statistics.

Colorado DUI laws

The DUI laws in Colorado are unique from many other states in the union. Instead of having the single blood alcohol content level of .08 to distinguish an individual as driving under the influence of alcohol like many other states, they have two categories. The driver is convicted of a DUI offense if they are driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or over. If their blood alcohol content reads between 0.5 and 0.8, they are then convicted with Driving While Ability Impaired.

Although Colorado courts attempt to entice offenders to use an ignition interlock device by shortening their period of license suspension, national organizations, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, urge lawmakers to tighten the reins on the ignition interlock program by requiring them mandatory for all DUI convictions.

Ignition interlock devices in Colorado

Currently, Colorado is not included in the fifteen states that have mandatory ignition interlock device regulations; however, there are regulations in place in regards to the usage of these devices in DUI cases. Colorado does not require an interlock device to be ordered for first time DUI offenders, but strongly encourages the court to consider issuing one.

According to the National Conference of State Legislature, Colorado interlock device regulations include:
- First-time offenders will have their license revoked for at least nine months. After one month, the offender will be given the option of installing an interlock device and will receive a limited driver's license.
- A driver that has a blood alcohol content of greater than 0.17 is classified by the state of Colorado as a "persistent drunk driver" and is required to install an ignition interlock device for approximately one year, or as mandated.
- Any driver that has a second offense within a five year period will be required to install an interlock device on each vehicle that they operate, and must retain them for at least one year.

Reliability of ignition interlock devices

While some have challenged the reliability of interlock devices in restricting the offender from operating a vehicle while intoxicated, many studies have proven them effective. In fact, the Center for Disease Control states that re-arrest rates for those who have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles were down by a whopping 67 percent when compared to those who merely had suspended licenses. Congress has also noticed the effectiveness of interlock devices, and has passed new legislation to fund states that pass mandatory ignition interlock laws, giving them up to $20 million in funds.

Contact a DUI attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI offense, it is vital that you contact a reliable DUI attorney that has a full understanding of Colorado DUI laws. Having an experienced lawyer on your side will ensure that your rights are recognized. Talk to an attorney today for more information on the ignition interlock program.

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