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Ignition Interlock Circumvention

Examples of circumvention of an ignition interlock device include disabling or bypassing the device’s control of the vehicle’s starter by cutting, connecting, or bypassing wires. Other examples include soliciting another person to blow into the device.

Ignition interlock devices use a variety of measures to prevent circumvention and tampering. For example, the head contains specially designed dual pressure sensors to measure the “blow pressure” of the sample provided. This ensures that the sample provided is within pre-set parameters for human breath. The device requires at least 1.5 liters of breath volume for it to register a valid test.

Also, the devices require a “voice tone” or “hum tone” to be provided simultaneously with the breath sample. This insures that a human is actually blowing into the device and the air is not being provided by a compressor or other means.

Other means of preventing tampering or circumvention include using tamper resistant seals and inspecting the writing on a monthly basis. Results which show that power to the IID was disconnected may also indicate tampering or circumvention.

Under Massachusetts Law, it is a felony to tamper with, circumvent, or otherwise interfere with the functioning of an Ignition Interlock Device with the intent to disable the IID. A conviction of this crime carries a sentence of imprisonment for at least 6 months and up to 2 ½ years in a house of correction or up to 5 years in state prison.

Whether or not you are convicted of circumvention, if the Registry determines that you have engaged in any type of circumvention, tampering, or having someone else blow into your IID, your license will be revoked for 10 years plus any term remaining on any hardship license. Although it may be tempting, please do not attempt to tamper with, circumvent, disable, or bypass your ignition interlock device. The Registry has become very adept at detecting attempts to defeat IIDs and it could result in the long-term loss of your license.