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Early Removal of Interlock in Colorado

Insight from Denver DUI Attorneys with 40+ Years' Combined Experience

Early removal of an ignition interlock device is only for first time offenders with a BAC < .150.

Here is how the process works, according to the interlock department at the CO DMV:

  • The respondent gets credit for interlock from the date the license was reinstated, not the date interlock was installed
  • Tell the respondent to get the download done a couple days after the 4 consecutive reporting periods have passed. The total time must be 4 calendar months or more to qualify for early removal so it is important to watch the dates and ensure that the 4th download is done after the 4th full month. The best way to understand this is: If you reinstated to a restricted license on May 10th, the four full calendar months would be on or after September 10th. You would want to schedule your final download for a couple days after this date
  • Downloads go from the service center to the Interlock company headquarters
  • Records are reviewed and if the respondent meets the 4 full months / 4 consecutive reporting periods removal terms (no tampering, no excess BAC which is ≥ .025) then the interlock company faxes a separate letter to the Colorado DMV indicating the respondent has met the terms for early removal. The respondent must call the interlock company to make sure that they review the record and send the compliance letter to the Colorado DMV. The interlock company has no incentive in having the device removed early, they actually lose money, so make sure you call them and ensure that the letter of compliance has been sent to the Colorado DMV. You should call the Interlock company headquarters 2-3 business days after the download was done at the service center to verify your compliance and request that the compliance letter be faxed to the Colorado DMV
  • Once the letter is faxed to the DMV from the interlock company, the compliance letter and early termination approval gets entered into the computer manually and each Wednesday at midnight, the computer system recognizes all people who have qualified for early removal and a letter is generated – so if the letter is faxed on Tuesday to the DMV, but it doesn’t get entered into the computer until Thursday, then you have to wait until the following Wednesday for the system to recognize the compliance and generate the early removal letter
  • By late Thursday afternoon or Friday morning of that week, the early removal letter is mailed to the respondent indicating they may come down to DMV and apply for an unrestricted license
  • Once the respondent has an unrestricted license in hand, they then can get interlock removed and cancel the sr22 certificate (only if they were not involved in an accident – if you were involved in an accident, you will be required to maintain SR for 3 years)
  • So the reality is that respondents can expect this process to take another 2-3 weeks to actually get the unrestricted license and to have the interlock removed from their vehicles. We tell our clients to expect to have ignition interlock in for close to 5 months as the process for early removal takes several weeks
  • We have found that having respondents pester the interlock companies to send the early term letter and getting confirmation that it has been sent usually helps expedites this process. At the end of the day, they still have to remember that they are relying on two entities that have no real incentive to do this, so no one is in a rush to process this and ensure that the respondent doesn’t have to have interlock for another week or two
  • The Interlock company loses money when people qualify for early removal and the DMV thinks interlock should be in every vehicle for everyone and if they had it their way it would be required to be in every vehicle on the road

Remember that you don't get credit for interlock until your license is actually reinstated and that you need to get a download done four full months or more after that to expedite the process (use the date of issue on your interlock restricted license as day one - so if that date is March 5th, then on July 5th you should have your final download done and begin the process outlined above).

Pursue an EXPEDITE Process

If you pester the Interlock company to send the early term letter, this will help expedite the process, but realistically you are facing at least two more weeks or longer after the four-month download before you can expect to get the early removal letter. You then need to take the letter into the DMV and get the unrestricted license. Only after you have obtained an unrestricted license can you then get the interlock removed.

Ready to get counsel for your case? Contact the Denver DUI attorneys at The Orr Law Firm at (303) 747-4247 today.


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