There are several things that you can do as a Massachusetts Ignition Interlock Device user to protect yourself from a 10 year or lifetime license suspension. First, be sure do not attempt to drive or start your car after you have consumed alcohol, which can remain in your system for a long time after consumption.
Secondly, other than water, do not consume anything while or immediately before driving. Ignition interlock devices often read certain food products and other substances as alcohol. This is because they use fuel cell technology and they do not have the safeguards used in evidential breathalyzers.
During and before driving, avoid the use of hand sanitizer, hairspray, mouthwash, cough drops, toothpaste, asthma inhalers, breath spray, and/or smoking. All of these things have resulted in false positive alcohol readings. Third, do not try to disconnect, circumvent, tamper with, or bypass the ignition interlock device. The simple act of disconnecting the handset while the vehicle is running can trigger a 10-year license revocation. The interlock devices used in Massachusetts will record tampering, circumvention, and bypass attempts.
Fourth, if you experience any problems, malfunctions, or abnormalities with your ignition interlock device, promptly notify your service provider and fully document the problem in writing. By proactively notifying the RMV of the problem, you may be saving yourself from having to attend an ignition interlock violation hearing. You should insist that the device be replaced and save any documentation evidencing the replacement.
Fifth, if you experience a false positive alcohol reading, immediately make note of the facts and circumstances of the alleged interlock violation. Immediately go to a hospital or police station for a comparison blood or breath test. Contact your interlock service provider and ask that the IID be checked for accuracy.
Finally, in the event of a false positive reading or interlock malfunction, submit a written statement to the RMV Interlock Unit as to what happened. The Registry holds interlock hearings months after the alleged IID violation. Therefore, it is important to fully document the facts and circumstances surrounding the violation. This documentation can be very helpful at your RMV interlock hearing. No interlock user should take violations lightly. The Registry routinely suspends licenses for 10 years or lifetime for IID violations. By following the steps listed above, you may be able to prevent a harsh license suspension.