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Colorado Waiting Period for License After DUI (2023 Update)

Posted on 12/01/23

Driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Colorado come with serious repercussions, including potential impacts on your ability to drive. New laws that took effect on Jan 1, 2023, have altered the landscape of DUI sentences concerning license suspensions. If you find yourself facing such charges, understanding these changes is essential for planning your next steps toward securing driving privileges.

Colorado Waiting Period for License After DUI

Old Colorado Law Regarding License Waiting Period

Prior to the latest updates, Colorado laws mandated that individuals convicted of DUI would undergo a 30-day suspension period before they were eligible to apply for a restricted license. A restricted license requires the installation of an ignition interlock device in defendants’ vehicles.

New Colorado Law Regarding Waiting Period For Restricted License After DUI – 2023

As of January 1, 2023, however, the Colorado legislature has modified this mandatory waiting period. Now anyone convicted with a DUI is permitted to submit an application for a restricted license that requires use of an ignition interlock device without delay, waiving the previous 30-day requirement. This means a person convicted of a DUI can immediately apply for the restricted license

The act permits a person whose driver’s license has been revoked for one year or more because of a conviction for DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, or excess BAC, or for 9 months for a first offense, to immediately apply for an early license reinstatement with an interlock-restricted license.”

What Exactly is The Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer system fitted into motor vehicles to prevent drivers from operating them while impaired by alcohol. The device requires the driver to provide a breath sample before starting the vehicle, and periodically throughout their drive. If an elevated level of alcohol is detected in their system, the ignition interlock will prevent the car from starting.

Why The Law Was Changed – Inherent Flaws in The 30-Day Waiting Period

The legislators determined inherent flaws in the previous 30-day suspension period. Despite periods of license suspensions, individuals were operating their vehicles anyway. Given the lack of preventive measures in place, like ignition interlock devices, it was leading to quick repeat offenses, and is clearly a significant risk to public safety.

If individuals will be driving anyway, it’s obviously preferable to facilitate them doing this legally and safely by having an ignition interlock device installed. This will do a better job of preventing drunk driving and will also allow people to complete their day-to-day obligations, like work and school.

Contact a Lawyer If You Have Questions or Need Help With DUI-Related Concerns

We understand that DUI charges can lead to a tremendous amount of stress, particularly when facing the prospect of fines, probation, jail time, and losing your driving privileges. This interruption of your daily life makes it essential to secure experienced legal representation. 

Our criminal defense lawyers know that getting back on the road is important and aim to get you there by helping you immediately apply for a restricted license when required. We will explain the ignition interlock process to you and help you get it installed and make sure you know all the rules you need to follow.

Ultimately, we are prepared to handle every aspect of your charges in and out of court.  If you have questions or need help, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free consultation.