Circumventing Interlock or Driving Without Interlock

A driver who is restricted to only operating a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device must not operate a vehicle without interlock. If she does drive a vehicle without interlock and gets stopped by law enforcement, the penalties are severe. Operating a motor vehicle without interlock when interlock is required is a Class 1 Misdemeanor Traffic Offense punishable by a minimum 10 days in jail up to one (1) year in jail and a fine of $300 up to $1000 plus court costs and surcharge fees. This same penalty also applies to a driver who is caught circumventing or attempting to circumvent the ignition interlock device.

If a police officer issues a ticket for circumventing an ignition interlock device or operating a vehicle without interlock when interlock is required, he is required by law to confiscate the person’s driver’s license on the spot and file a report with DMV. The police officer is also required to ensure that the driver does not continue to operate the motor vehicle.

Once the case goes to court, the statute reads that a judge shall not accept a plea to another offense unless the prosecutor states to the court that they could not establish a prima facie case if the driver was brought to trial. In other words, the prosecutor would have to state to the judge that they didn’t have a case.

If a driver pleads guilty to the offense of circumventing or attempting to circumvent an ignition interlock device or operating a motor vehicle without an interlock device when one is required, DMV may revoke the driver’s license for a period of one (1) year or the remaining period of license restriction prior to the driver being issued an interlock license, whichever is longer. Thus, both the criminal traffic offense and the collateral DMV consequences are severe. A driver is entitled to a hearing at DMV regarding the revocation and the length of the ineligible period.

The ignition interlock company is required by law to provide monthly monitoring reports to the DMV to ensure compliance. Additionally, the ignition interlock company is required to check the device every sixty (60) days to ensure that it is functioning properly. If the ignition interlock company finds evidence that the device has been tampered with, the ignition interlock company is required to report the suspected tampering to DMV within 5 days.

If you or a loved one has been charged with operating a vehicle without interlock or circumventing an ignition interlock device, it’s important to seek help from experienced counsel. Attorney Robbins has successfully defended clients in Colorado charged with operating a motor vehicle without interlock or circumventing interlock at the county court level as well as DMV. Contact Attorney Robbins today for a free case evaluation at 303-355-5148 or 970-301-5541