Similar to a breathalyzer, an ignition interlock device is designed to detect alcohol on a person’s breath. However, the ignition interlock device is not used by law enforcement officers to catch drunk drivers. Instead, this device is used to ensure people who have been convicted of DUI do not get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Many DUI defendants are required to use these devices for a certain period of time before they are allowed to reinstate their driving privileges. These defendants can face additional legal consequences if they are caught tampering with an ignition interlock device.
What is Tampering With an Ignition Interlock Device?
The law defines tampering with an ignition interlock device as intercepting, bypassing, or interfering with it in an attempt to prevent it from serving its purpose. For example, let’s say you have had a few drinks, but you still want to drive home. The ignition interlock device will prevent the car from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath. To avoid this problem, some people ask someone who is sober to blow into the device for them. But, since this prevents the device from serving its purpose of keeping drunk drivers off of the road, this is illegal tampering.
Attempting to damage the ignition interlock device so it can no longer perform readings is also considered tampering. Even if you do not actually damage the device, attempting to do so could lead to legal penalties.
What Are the Penalties for Tampering With an Ignition Interlock Device?
Tampering with an ignition interlock device is charged as a class 1 misdemeanor in Colorado. People who help others tamper with these devices can also be charged with this crime, regardless of whether or not the device belongs to them.
Class 1 misdemeanors carry serious penalties. Anyone who is convicted of tampering with an ignition interlock device could face a maximum of 18 months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. Getting caught tampering with one of these devices can also affect your driving privileges if you were previously convicted of DUI. The court could revoke your restricted license, extend your license suspension, and order additional fines.
To avoid these consequences, it is best to use the ignition interlock device in the way it was intended.
If you have been accused of tampering with an ignition interlock device, contact Reisch Law Firm right away. This crime carries serious penalties, but our criminal defense attorneys will fight tirelessly to reach the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.