Initial Start Interlock Violations

The Ignition Interlock Department of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles is now issuing IID Violation Notices and scheduling violation hearings for initial start violations. This means that if you have two initial start violations during a service period, you may receive a violation notice and be called in for a hearing regarding a 10-year license revocation.

The Massachusetts Ignition Interlock Statute, G.L. c. 90 § 24 ½ states that the Registry may impose a 10 year or lifetime license revocation for someone who has “…operated or attempted to operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level that caused the certified ignition interlock device to prohibit a vehicle from starting on at least 2 occasions….” The Registry of Motor Vehicles also penalizes drivers whose Ignition Interlock Device (IID) “recorded a blood alcohol level in excess of .02 on at least 2 occasions.”

When your vehicle has been prohibited from starting on two occasions during the same service period, the vehicle will go into a “lockout.” In order to clear this lockout, you must bring the vehicle to your service provider to have the lockout cleared and the data downloaded. If you fail to bring your vehicle to the service provider before the deadline expires, your vehicle will not start and you may need to have it towed.

When you bring your vehicle to your IID service provider, the data from the IID will be downloaded and electronically transmitted to the Registry’s Ignition Interlock Department. If there are violations the Registry may issue a violation notice to the driver. These notices are sent by mail to the customer’s address on file with the Registry.

If you have received an Ignition Interlock Violation Notice, you must appear before a Registry Hearing Officer to answer for the alleged violation. If you fail to appear that this hearing, you will be “defaulted” and your license will automatically be revoked indefinitely. Therefore, you cannot ignore an IID violation or hearing notice.

You have the right to counsel at the violation hearing and having the right lawyer fight for your license can be invaluable. If you have been accused of an ignition interlock violation, you should immediately contact your IID service provider and obtain the printouts for the dates in question. As the customer, you are legally entitled to these printouts and the can be extremely helpful at your violation hearing.

You should promptly engage the services of a lawyer to defend you. Effective legal representation a the RMV can make the difference between keeping your driver’s license intact or being hit with a 10 year license revocation. Some people do not really believe that the Registry will revoke their licenses for alcohol readings, missed rolling retests, or driving without the IID. They find out that they’re wrong when they get the revocation notices in the mail and have to stop driving.

The license restriction code for those who need to use an ignition interlock device is restriction “Z” which stands for zero-tolerance and that is the position which the Registry of Motor Vehicles takes with ignition interlock violations.