Fort Collins Foreign Car Service is one of the only car repair shops in Fort Collins that offers ignition interlock installation.  Some people may be familiar with these systems if they have ever known someone who was convicted of a DUI violation, but many others are not.  As such, this post is to explain the system’s  purpose and function, as well as Colorado laws regarding ignition interlock systems and DUIs.

Ignition interlock systems are typically installed in a vehicle after the vehicle’s owner has received a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).  An ignition interlock system is essentially an alcohol monitor device that is installed into the vehicle and wired into the ignition system.  After installation, the system requires that the user blow into a mouthpiece which measures the individual’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) in order to ensure that the driver is not impaired due to excessive alcohol consumption.

Typically the system requires the driver to blow before the engine can be started and also randomly while the vehicle is already being driven (known as a ‘rolling retest’).  In the latter case, the test doesn’t have to be taken immediately but can be deferred for a period of time to allow the driver to get to a safe location for testing.  Modern ignition interlock systems also have computerized tracking systems and advanced anti-circumvention techniques that thwart individuals who try to cheat or bypass the system.

So, who gets an ignition interlock system installed?  Colorado law currently requires a mandatory suspension of a driver’s license if he/she is convicted of a DUI.  The suspension period for the first offense is 9 months, with the option after a month to elect to have an ignition interlock device installed and receive a limited license granted which allows the individual to legally drive only that vehicle with the functioning alcohol monitor installed.  If they use the device and limited license without issue they may eligible to receive reinstatement of their normal license earlier.  Repeat offenders, or those who are found to have a BAC of .17 or higher at the time of the incident are required to have the system installed and used with a limited license for at least two years.

Ignition interlock alcohol monitor systems can be leased and installed at your licensed local auto repair shop, including right here at Fort Collins Foreign Car.