Is a lockout a requirement after a DUI charge? | The Law Firms of Steven Rodemer


When an individual is convicted of a DUI, or refused a BAC test, they will most likely need to install a locking device in their motor vehicle while their license is restricted. In many states, this is the requirement to drive and regain full driver’s license privileges.

An ignition interlock device is a device used to ensure that a person convicted of drunk driving does not drive under the influence during their probationary period. The driver who has been convicted of a DUI must pay to have the device installed, and he must pay a monthly fee to keep it in his vehicle. Then, when the locking device is no longer needed, the driver again has to pay to have it removed. It is installed in the vehicle’s steering column and requires the driver to blow into the device like a breathalyzer. Essentially, an ignition interlock is a breathalyzer test, and if there is no alcohol present in the driver’s system, the car will start. If the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, it will not allow the vehicle to start and will record the failed attempt. While the lock is installed, if a driver attempts to start the vehicle with alcohol in their system, this is considered a violation of probation and may result in jail time and additional charges.

All 50 states have laws regarding ignition interlocks, which means they need them after a drunk driving conviction. A good majority of the lockdown rules even apply to first-time offenders. So generally speaking, there is no way NOT to be forced to install a locking device after a DUI conviction. However, some states have exceptions to the lockout requirement.

Although it is not possible to 100% avoid installing a locking device in the driver’s vehicle after he has been convicted of a DUI, it is possible to reduce the duration of his facility. Therefore, the individual will save money on the monthly cost of the locking device. The courts will not release any of this information to the driver, so it is necessary to have an experienced DUI defense attorney at the driver’s side to ensure they receive all the necessary information and give them the best opportunity to minimize the locking time. the vehicle.

Immobilizer Exemptions

Not all states offer exemptions to the lockdown device, but some do. If a person can prove that they do not own or have access to a vehicle, they will not be required to have a locking device installed. There may be other exemptions that may apply to the accused person, but these are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Medical exemptions

Medical exemptions are not available in all states, but the best way to find out is to consult with a DUI defense attorney in Colorado Springs. If the person feels they meet the standards for a medical exemption, their lawyer can request it.

People may qualify for a medical exemption if they have certain medical conditions that prevent them from properly using a locking device. These medical conditions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Lung cancer
  • COPD
  • Emphysema
  • Lung damage

In order to qualify for the exemption, the person must have their healthcare provider complete a form indicating the medical condition and stating that the lockdown will affect the person’s quality of life. This will show that the person has been screened and has a physical disability that could prevent them from using a locking device properly. In most cases a medical lung capacity test will be taken to prove this, as a minimum sustained breath sample of 1500ml is required to use the lockout device.

Employer exemption

This type of exemption is more common in all states because a lockout device can seriously prohibit a person from performing their duties or require them to leave their job. An employer’s exemption is typically used when the accused person is required to drive a company vehicle as part of their job. If the company does not want a locking device installed in their company vehicle, they must sign a form stating that they are aware of the DUI charge and request that no locking device be installed. be installed. It must be documented in writing that the employer is aware of the DUI charge and the employee’s restricted driving status, but is still extending the authorization for the individual to drive the company vehicle .

If the employee benefits from this exemption, he must have the documents with him at all times when he is at work. The driver is only authorized to use the vehicle for work. There are no exceptions to this rule. They must also have their own vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock and cannot use the company vehicle to commute to work or for any personal activity. There are severe penalties associated with violating the rules associated with an employer exemption.

In some cases, employers will require a locking device in the vehicle after the employee has been charged or convicted of a DUI. Employee must pay for installation, monthly fee, service charge and removal of locking device.

Financial exemption

This exemption is one of the less common exemptions related to locking devices. It just means that if the person doesn’t own a vehicle, they don’t need to install a locking device. However, this then prohibits the individual from borrowing or renting a vehicle as they cannot drive any type of motor vehicle without a locking device already installed. If the person buys a car during their restricted license period, they must have an anti-theft device installed.

In cases where the person is facing financial hardship and sharing a vehicle with another household member, a locking device is still required. A plethora of states have financial assistance programs to help people convicted of a DUI pay for their locking devices and service fees. In most cases, the individual must be receiving some sort of government assistance to meet the criteria for a financial exemption.

Reduce the required duration of the locking device

Although it is very difficult to qualify for an exemption, there are ways to reduce the time required to install a lock. There are seven simple steps to follow to get a lock removed early.

Follow the requirements

There are specific requirements for a person to request that their locking device be removed from their vehicle sooner. The criteria they must meet include:

  • Being a first time offender
  • The blood alcohol level at the time of the arrest was below 0.15%
  • Under 21 at time of DUI issuance
  • Colorado resident
  • Compliant with a lockdown device for at least 4 months

Anyone who has repeated impaired driving convictions or persistent drunk driving convictions cannot have their locking devices removed sooner.

Do not violate the lock device for 4 months

Colorado’s first DUI conviction results in a 9-month driver’s license suspension. After one month, defendants can resume driving with a restricted license if they have a locking device installed in their vehicle. Once the defendant has driven the car for 4 months while complying with the lockout device, he can apply for an early withdrawal. In order to be in full compliance with a locking device, the individual must:

  • Do not tamper with the locking device
  • Not having failed the breathalyzer (BAC greater than 0.025%)

It is important to note that the 4 month period will start on the day of obtaining the restricted license of the locking device. It may take several days after installing the locking device.

Request a Letter of Compliance

Once the 4 month period has passed and the driver was in full compliance all the time, they can request a letter from the locking device company indicating that they were in full compliance. In Colorado, the driver should request that the compliance letter be faxed to the Colorado DMV as a compliance letter immediately. In some circumstances, the driver will need to call the lockout company to remind them to fax the compliance letter. This happens because they make money by having the locking device installed in the vehicle, so they are in no rush to notify the court of the driver’s full compliance and qualify for an early withdrawal.

Wait for deletion letter

When the DMV receives the compliance letter from the lockout device company, it processes it and sends the removal letter to the respondent. These deletion letters are usually sent at the end of the week. If a defendant wishes to check the status of their suppression letter, they may contact DMV Interlock during business hours at 303-205-5613.

Most of the time, the DMV will send out a removal letter without any issues. Sometimes, however, this can be difficult and the defendant should hire a reputable attorney to ensure the referral letter is sent. The DUI defense attorney can request a DMV hearing which will essentially be a mini-hearing where the defendant and his or her attorney will provide proof of lockout compliance.

Renew License at DMV

Once the defendant receives their withdrawal letter from the DMV, they can go to their local DMV and request full reinstatement of their driving privileges. They will need to bring the original deletion letter with them, and bringing a copy of the compliance letter never hurts.

Remove lock device

Once the driver has all of their driving privileges restored by the DMV, they can have their locking device removed. The device cannot be removed by the driver, it must be removed by the company that installed the locking device.

Cancel SR22 insurance

Once the defendant has their compliance and withdrawal letter and their driver’s license reinstated, they may be able to cancel their SR22 insurance. This can only happen if the DUI was not associated with an accident. If the DUI resulted in an accident, the individual must have SR22 insurance for at least 3 years. The best way to determine whether or not someone should keep their SR22 insurance is to speak to a qualified attorney.

Contact an experienced DUI defense attorney near you

If you have been charged with a DUI offense and would like to have your locking device removed sooner, the best way to do so is to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney near you. Our group of dedicated and knowledgeable DUI lawyers know exactly how a lockdown can negatively impact any individual’s life. Therefore, we are knowledgeable and up to date on everything surrounding DUI charges and the process following these charges.


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