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Ignition Interocks, Breathalyzers, & Breathing Problems

Massachusetts Registry News

If you suffer from a breathing condition you should take steps to protect yourself from a Massachusetts breath test refusal suspension which will result in the loss of your license from 180 days to lifetime or an ignition interlock violation which can also result in the revocation of your driver’s license.

If you are arrested for DUI, and you suffer from a medical breathing problem which is preventing you from providing an adequate breath sample, you should notify the police of your medical condition and ask for additional opportunities to take the breath test. Of course, the police and the Registry are aware of false claims of breathing conditions which intoxicated individuals may use to avoid taking the breath test and medical documentation will likely be required to avoid a chemical test refusal suspension. However, it is important to put your condition on the record during the DUI booking process. You should then contact a lawyer who handles RMV cases and obtain medical documentation to substantiate your claim. It is unfair to punish someone who tries as hard as they can do take a breath test but, because of a medical condition, he or she cannot complete the test.

When it comes to ignition interlock devices, the Ignition Interlock Unit of the Mass. RMV is very accommodating to those who have legitimate and documented medical conditions which make ignition interlock device usage difficult. The Registry’s Ignition Interlock Unit may authorize your vendor to lower the breath threshold which the ignition interlock device requires. This will allow you to meet your obligations under the interlock law without risking a missed rolling re-test.

If you have medical issues which have prevented you from taking a breath test or using your IID, you should contact a lawyer for a no obligation review of your situation. To get the “blow pressure” lowered on your ignition interlock device, you will need to provide the MassDOT Ignition Interlock Unit with medical documentation showing that you have a pulmonary disease or condition such as COPD, emphysema, or asthma.

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