G.L. c. 90 § 24S makes it a felony criminal offense to operate a motor vehicle that was not equipped with a certified functioning ignition interlock device while the operator’s license has the “Z” ignition interlock restriction. Upon conviction, this crime carries a minimum mandatory 150-day jail sentence and a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in state prison.

In addition to a potential felony conviction and incarceration, operating without an IID will result in a 10-year license revocation. The Registry imposes this 10-year revocation regardless of any extenuating circumstances based on the rationale that a repeat drunk driver whose license has been restricted should not be operating a vehicle without the IID, so as to protect public safety.

If you are operating on a hardship license, being caught operating without the IID, when your driver’s license is IID restricted, will result in the loss of your hardship license in addition to a 10-year revocation, which will run from and after your original license suspension or revocation. The Registry of Motor Vehicles takes a zero-tolerance approach to any evidence of operation without the ignition interlock device. The Registry receives reports of this type of ignition interlock violation from police, law enforcement agencies, the courts, service providers, and even the general public.

If the Registry has revoked your license for driving without the IID, you have the right to appeal the Registry’s decision to the Board of Appeal. In some cases, the Board of Appeal has granted hardship relief in this situation.