The Massachusetts RMV Requires Ignition Interlock for Repeat DUI Offenders, No Exceptions

Question: I was arrested in June of 2004 for my 1st OUI-I was put on probation and lost my license was suspended about 2 or 3 weeks later I was involved in a accident and was arrested on my 2nd OUI and Driving After Suspension-I paid a really large sum of money and my attorney had my 2 OUI’s lumped into 1 and my case was continued without a finding (CWOF)-over the next couple of years I did all that was asked of me by the courts and my probation ended-the only thing I did not do was pay the $600 fine I needed to pay to get my license back -in 2006 I went into the Boston registry to see what it would take to get my license back (I didn’t know about the fine yet) The associate at the registry stated to me (and gave me a paper) that all I had to do to get my license re-instated was to pay the $600.00 fine-that was it-nothing else-(definitely not an Ignition Interlock Device) was never mentioned!! The years went by and I never really needed a reason to have my license-Fast -Forward to 2011 and I went to the registry to get my license re-instated (I was anticipating having to go through the whole license process-starting with getting my permit-I was also told this by a bunch of individuals also) the associate at the registry stated I had to see a Hearings Officer -so I proceeded to wait hours for one-I finally met with one and she stated that I would have to pay the $600.00 fine and in addition i would have to buy a car first and then have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in that car-them my license would be re-instated-I walked out in disgust-I was never told this back in 2006-both my cases were well before Melanie’s Law was signed into law!! I don’t believe this is “right” or “fair”-I have friends and acquaintances that have 2 or more OUI’s and they didn’t even have to get the ignition interlock device-I am so sad and confused -i need your help-I can’t afford to get this device and back in 2006 they never, ever said anything about this device.

How can the RMV can do this? Do I have any recourse? #1 I did not have the $600.00 for the fine for the longest time #2 I started drinking right after my probation was cleared up and became a terrible alcoholic so bad that I locked myself in my house and drank 24/7 -so I didn’t care about my license anyway-I did eventually seek professional help in 2008 and I have been sober ever since-is there anything that can be done to avoid this interlock device? I mean what if I (or someone else in this predicament) had temporary paralysis or any other major health condition that prevented them of making that deadline (Hypothetically speaking)? Thanks again Brian for all your assistance, you are a True gentleman and kind person-best wishes and God bless you and your family.

Question: I was convicted of third offense DUI in 2001 received a hardship license in 2004 with no interlock. I was told 8 years for DWI and 4 years habitual traffic offender. I went for my full time license in March of 2013. The Registry hearing officer told me that I was eligible for my full time license in 2010. The Registry of Motor Vehicles told me that the 12 years didn’t run consecutively. They never sent me any letter that I was eligible. So I have been driving for three extra years on a part time license. I now have to have this ignition interlock device for two more years. Is there anything that I can do to get the ignition interlock device removed sooner than 2 years?

Answer: Unfortunately, Melanie’s law requires anyone reinstating from a DUI suspension after January 1, 2006 to have the ignition interlock device if they have 2 or more operating under the influence (OUI) convictions on their records. Since you have 2 DUI convictions and you did not reinstate your license from the 2nd DUI suspension until after January 1, 2006, you’re ignition interlock required for 2 years. Although you were eligible to reinstate your license prior to January 1, 2006, you did not reinstate it. The Registry does not make exceptions to the ignition interlock device requirement for anyone who has 2 or more OUI convictions, no matter when or where the driving under the influence arrests occurred.