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Car Batteries and Ignition Interlock Devices

Ignition Interlock Devices

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles requires all repeat DUI offenders to use ignition interlock devices while operating on a DUI Cinderella license and for a minimum of 2 years after removal of the H restriction.

Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) depend on power from the vehicle’s electrical system and they must receive a constant 12 volt power supply in order to work properly. A drop in voltage may be interpreted as an attempt at disconnection, circumvention, or tampering, all of which are serious offenses which may result in 10 year license revocations and potential criminal charges.

To avoid the appearance of violating the Ignition Interlock Program requirements, you should ensure that your vehicle’s battery and electrical system are in good condition. Replacing an old or failing car battery may save you from having problems with your IID. The device requires some amount of electricity constantly, even when a breath test is not being conducted or when the car or truck is not running. This can drain the vehicle’s battery and it might prevent you from being able to start your car, especially in cold weather.

If you do not drive your vehicle for several days, and your car battery is not in good condition, you might experience a battery problem when you finally try to start the vehicle. This occurs because of the constant drain on the vehicle’s battery and the lack of charging. You can avoid this problem by ensuring that your car battery is in good condition and you may want to consider replacing a battery that doesn’t hold a charge. This might prevent you from needing to have the vehicle jump started.

As an ignition interlock user, anytime you replace your car battery or have work done on your vehicle’s electrical system, you should notify the repair facility that your car is equipped with an ignition interlock device and provide the facility with your service provider’s contact information. You should save all documentation showing what work was performed and when it was done. Service work orders and receipts can be used as exculpatory evidence at an ignition interlock violation hearing to account for what might look like circumvention, disconnection, or tampering.

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