Charged with an Ignition Interlock Violation? Hire a Lawyer.

I just spoke with a gentleman who is currently serving a 10 year revocation of his license for an ignition interlock violation. His ex-wife was driving his car after she had been drinking and she was the one who caused his ignition interlock device to register alcohol. This individual made the mistake of representing himself before the Registry of Motor Vehicles Ignition Interlock Department and the Registry found him in violation of G.L. c. 90 § 24 ½, the Mass. Ignition Interlock Law. He should have hired a lawyer to handle his Ignition Interlock Violation hearing , but he thought that he could handle it himself.

After serving several years without a license, he appealed the 10 year license revocation to the Board of Appeal of the Division of Insurance. The Board has the legal authority to grant a hardship or full license, even when the Registry has ruled against you. The Board is extremely busy, as it handles upwards of 5,000 hearings a year on a shoestring budget, with a very minimal support  staff.  Again, this individual appeared without an attorney. Maybe he didn’t want to spend the money or maybe he thought that he didn’t need a lawyer. The Board affirmed the 10 year revocation of his license and gave him no relief.

He recently filed another appeal to go before the Board of Appeal again. This time, he received a letter from the Board informing him that hearing was previously held in his case and after due consideration the Board voted to affirm the decision of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles and it did not authorize him to file a new appeal.  Nevertheless, the Board received another appeal of the same license revocation which it had previously affirmed and the new appeal was filed without the Board’s approval. The letter further observed that the Appellant failed to seek, or has been denied, relief from the Superior Court Department pursuant to G.L. c. 30A § 14, and the Board of Appeal will take no action on the request. Translation: the Board said “no, and don’t come back.”

Unfortunately, there is nothing that I can do for this person and he must serve the balance of his 10 year Ignition Interlock Device Revocation before he can try to get his license back. When that time comes, he will have to take written and road tests, pay a reinstatement fee, and serve 2 years with the IID.  He had a strong case and a lawyer could likely have prevented him from losing his license in the first place.