The Taunton Gazette recently reported that a man who had an ignition interlock restricted license was caught soliciting others to blow into his ignition interlock device. A citizen who the ignition interlock restricted driver solicited reported the incident to the Bridgewater police. The man was outside of the Mee King Restaurant, which is located at 33 Main St., in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Although the first person who the man solicited refused to blow into the device, he eventually found another person who cooperated. Blowing into an ignition interlock device for the purpose of allowing an interlock-restricted driver to drive his or her vehicle is a criminal offense which carries a minimum mandatory jail sentence and a fine of at least $1,000.00 up to $5,000.00.  Tampering with or attempting to bypass an ignition interlock device is a felony.

Melanie’s law requires anyone with two or more DUI convictions on their record to use an ignition interlock device during the entire time that they are on a hardship license and for two years after getting a full license reinstatement. The interlock device is programmed to prevent the DUI offender’s vehicle from starting if his or her breath registers at or above .02. The legal limit in Massachusetts is .08.

Interlock devices are fraught with problems such as false positive readings and malfunctions which may trigger license suspensions. The Registry suspends licenses for ignition interlock violations for 10 years or life.