Allowing Someone to Drive Suspended: Surprise Consequences

A little known feature of Melanie’s Law makes it a crime to knowingly allow a vehicle which you own or control to be driven by someone whose license has been suspended or revoked. Melanie’s Law also makes it a crime to knowingly allow someone with an ignition interlock restricted license to drive your vehicle if it is not equipped with a certified alcohol ignition interlock device.

The Mass. RMV can suspend, for up to one year, the registration of the vehicle which was improperly driven by the suspended or revoked driver or the license of the vehicle’s registered owner or the person who controlled the vehicle. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has been taking action against licenses and registrations under this little-known law.

If you are the registered owner or person in control of a vehicle which is being driven by someone with a suspended or revoked license, you risk fines, jail time, and a suspension of your license and the vehicle’s registration. Likewise, if you allow someone to circumvent the Registry’s ignition interlock requirement, by driving a non-interlock equipped vehicle which you own or control, you may also face these harsh penalties.