The Massachusetts Ignition Interlock Device Law

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Effective, January 1, 2006, any driver with a two or more DUI convictions on his or her record, who is  reinstating from a DUI suspension, is required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) attached to any vehicle that driver owns, leases, or operates, as a condition of any hardship license or full license reinstatement. The device measures and records blood alcohol levels by way of a breath sample. It requires a breath sample to start the vehicle and requires additional breath samples at intervals while the vehicle is being operated. The IID requires such tests regardless of who is operating the vehicle. An IID will prevent a vehicle from starting if it detects a blood alcohol concentration over a preset limit of .02.

The obvious purpose of this ignition interlock device (IID) requirement is to protect public safety by preventing the driver from operating under the influence of alcohol in the future. and the driver from continued unlawful operation of a motor vehicle. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will impose the IID requirement during the term of any 12 hour restricted license and for at least 2 years after the hardship restriction is removed. This two-year ignition interlock device (IID) restriction is mandatory and the RMV makes no exceptions. The 2 year time frame begins running only after a driver receives a full time 24 hour license. Time spent on a hardship license does not count towards the 2 year requirement.

The Registry will not issue motorcycle driving privileges or a CDL to anyone who has an IID restricted license and there are no exceptions to this rule.

When a license is suspended for DUI and the driver is interlock required due to a prior DUI conviction, Reinstatement of the license will only be allowed once the driver submits proof of installation of the interlock device and IID affidavits to a Registry hearings officer.

Ignition interlock device users must drive their vehicles to an approved interlock vendor or service center for inspection and downloading of recorded data every 30 days. The vendor will transmit the data to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Evidence of rolling re-test breath samples exceeding .02, missed rolling re-tests, tampering, circumvention, or disconnection of the IID can result in severe penalties up to a lifetime revocation of the right to drive.

In the event that the Registry of Motor Vehicles receives notice of an IID violation, the RMV will send the alleged violator a notice of the violation and hearing notice. Depending on the outcome of the hearing, the Mass. RMV can impose sanctions up to and including 10 year or permanent revocation of the driver’s license.

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