Guest Contributor: Tiftickjian Law Firm
Ignition Interlocks are a great way for Coloradans with DUI convictions to prove they can be responsible drivers.
First-time offenders may have just made one bad choice. An Ignition Interlock restriction allows them to demonstrate that it won’t happen again. A revoked license can also prevent drivers from earning a living. An Ignition Interlock restriction allows them to return to work.
Unfortunately, though, not all drivers can afford the cost of an Ignition Interlock installation and monthly lease. For these drivers, Ignition Interlock financial assistance in Colorado may be eligible to you.
What is Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance in Colorado?
The Colorado legislature established a fund maintained by the Department of Revenue that assists some low-income drivers with the costs of an Ignition Interlock lease and installation. It is not funded by tax dollars, but through reinstatement fees for drivers who need to reinstate for any reason.
The fund is designed to help qualifying first-time offenders. However the fund is also available to repeat offenders with an initial installation date after January 1, 2014. Drivers in need of assistance can apply through their state-approved Ignition Interlock provider at the time of installation.
Keep in mind, however, that not everyone qualifies, and there is not always sufficient revenue in the fund to help all applicants.
Who is Eligible for Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance in Colorado?
As mentioned above, financial assistance is limited to first-time offenders and repeat offenders with an initial installation after 2014. If a driver falls into one of these two categories, and meets the following guidelines, he or she may be able to receive assistance if:
- The driver is a Colorado resident and is lawfully present in the U.S.
- The driver was at least 21-years-old when the violation occurred.
- The driver’s federal adjusted gross income falls under a varying percentage of the federal poverty guidelines. The income threshold changes from time-to-time and can be confirmed at the time of application.
Ignition Interlock providers (after receiving the applicant’s consent) then use the State Portal to verify income eligibility online based upon Colorado state tax records. Providers do not receive any detailed income information from the state – only whether the applicant qualifies or does not qualify.
How Much Financial Assistance is Available?
If the driver’s income falls under the program’s threshold, and the driver is otherwise qualified, they can receive up to $400 in assistance toward the Ignition Interlock lease charges. Applicants are responsible for any Ignition Interlock costs not covered by the assistance. Department of Revenue funds for the program are limited, so not all applicants will receive the full amount of assistance for which they would otherwise qualify. And, in the event of a subsequent license suspension or revocation, the DMV will immediately terminate any future payments.
How do I Appeal a Denial of Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance?
If an applicant is denied financial assistance based upon income level alone, he or she can appeal the eligibility decision. If the appeal is successful, the driver receives pro-rated assistance on future Ignition Interlock charges, but will not receive reimbursement for any Ignition Interlock charges already incurred.
During the initial application, the State Portal verifies income level based solely upon tax records. However, during the appeal, applicants can prove income using a Notice of Determination issued by the Colorado Division of Human Services relating to other state assistance programs, such as food or medical assistance. In support of an appeal, applicants can also present a Declaration of Indigency entered by the court in the alcohol-related criminal case.
Qualifying for Ignition Interlock financial assistance can be easy. For instance, you may just need to provide your information at the time of application and wait for confirmation of eligibility. But when you need an administrative appeal, the process can be a little more difficult. Drivers who think they have been wrongfully denied Ignition Interlock financial assistance, or who have any other questions about eligibility, should consult with a trusted attorney experienced in DUI cases.
Tiftickjian Law Firm
Denver DUI Lawyer/Attorney
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Need an Ignition Interlock in Colorado?
Smart Start is Colorado’s go-to Ignition Interlock provider with the most affordable program and the most reliable device. Call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.
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