Leaving your vehicle’s engine running or even the key in the “accessory” position could cause you to receive an Ignition Interlock Violation. This is because the Massachusetts Registry’s Ignition Interlock Device Regulations penalize drivers who miss rolling re-tests and the ignition interlock devices used in Massachusetts, such as the Smart Start and Intoxalock devices, are all programmed to require “rolling re-tests” at random intervals when the devices sense that the vehicle is being operated. This IID sensor makes no distinction between the engine actually running or the key being in the “accessory” position.

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles takes ignition interlock violations seriously, and rightfully so. The periodic rolling re-test requirement is imposed to ensure that a driver did not have someone else start his or her vehicle so that he or she could operate the car while under the influence of alcohol. The re-test requirement prevents this by asking for breath samples at random intervals whenever the IID senses that the car is running. Rolling re-tests are required even if the vehicle is stationary, so the term “rolling” is somewhat of a misnomer.

Ignition Interlock users in Massachusetts should be careful to make sure that the vehicle’s ignition is in the “off” position prior to getting out of the vehicle. Also, it is not advisable to leave the engine running for the vehicle to speed up or cool down by using the heat or air conditioning, since the IID will require breath samples. It is important not to miss requested rolling re-test because it can result in violations and a potential 10-year driver’s license revocation.

When the IID calls for a re-test, it will beep and signal the driver to provide a breath sample. If the breath test is not completed within a pre-set time frame a missed test will be recorded and multiple missed tests will trigger a lockout. This information will be electronically stored and reported to the Registry’s Interlock Department during the required monthly download. Upon reviewing the information, a Hearing Officer may send out an IID violation notice to the customer which informs him or her that a hearing will be conducted at the Registry and that hearing may result in the imposition of a 10-year revocation. Those who fail to appear at violation hearings will have their driving privileges revoked indefinitely.  Anyone facing such a hearing is entitled to legal representation there are lawyers who specialize in representing clients who are facing Ignition Interlock Violations at the Registry. These violations carry 10-year license revocations, so the penalties can be severe.