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Ignition Interlock Mandatory for Repeat DUI Offenders

Massachusetts Registry News

I get a high volume of inquiries from people who are trying to avoid having to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicles. As explained in this post, use of the interlock is mandatory for repeat DUI offenders.  The IID is an alcohol breath screening device that prevents a motor vehicle from starting if it detects a blood alcohol concentration over a preset limit of 02 or 20 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. The driver must pay installation and monthly fees and, to deter a driver from circumventing the IID after starting the vehicle, the IID also re-tests at random intervals while the vehicle is in operation (“rolling re-tests”). The Registry receives monthly readings, which it can take into account in considering administrative action against a driver. This administrative action includes revoking the driver’s license for 10 years or life. 

Many people mistakenly believe that the ignition interlock requirement is discretionary or that it is possible to appeal the requirement if a driver can demonstrate that his DUI convictions were old or that he is not a danger to public safety. These factors are irrelevant when it comes to interlock.

The Massachusetts Ignition Interlock Device Law requires an individual who is seeking full reinstatement of his driver’s license after being convicted of OUI on two or more occasions, to install an IID in his motor vehicle for two additional years after the full license has been reinstated. Melanie’s Law imposes the same requirement for any individual with two or more OUI convictions who has been granted a hardship driver’s license. There are no exceptions and this requirement may apply to DUI first offenders in the near future.

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