Today the Boston Herald reported on the failure of a bill proposed by Senator Robert Hedlund which would have closed what critics call a “loophole” in Melanie’s Law, which was enacted on October 28, 2005, as “an act increasing penalties for drunk drivers in the Commonwealth.” Boston Herald reporter David Wedge criticized this legislation in an article published in March of 2008, entitled “Bitter Flaw in Melanie’s Law.”
Currently, the law allows Massachusetts DUI Lawyers to “bundle” OUI cases, to avoid the harsh penalties and license suspensions which repeat DUI offenses often trigger. Senator Hedlund’s bill would have closed this “loophole.” Although the legislation did not pass during this legislative session, the bill will be re-filed in January.
Hedlund has also filed legislation which would require DUI First Offenders to install ignition interlock devices for 6 months and during the term of any drunk driving hardship license. Currently the Registry only requires second and subsequent offenders to use these devices.