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Rolling Re-test Violations in Massachusetts


All ignition interlock devices which the Registry has approved for use in Massachusetts will require the driver to randomly take and pass rolling re-tests while the engine is running.  You must take a rolling re-test within five (5) minutes of being promoted. The IID will record missed rolling re-tests and 2 missed rolling re-tests will result in a lockout. Two lockouts will result in an Ignition Interlock Violation hearing at the Registry’s Ignition Interlock Unit in Quincy and, after a hearing, the Registry may revoke your license for these missed rolling re-tests.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that the purpose of an ignition interlock device is not to accurately measure in mg/ml the BAC of a driver. This is because the devices are only certified as “lockout” devices and not evidential breath test instruments. Nevertheless, the alcohol readings from these lockout devices can be used to justify a 10 year driver’s license revocation in Massachusetts.Many long-term license revocations are caused by alleged “rolling re-test violations.”

The purpose of the rolling re-test requirement is to ensure that an intoxicated driver did not have someone else blow into his or her device to allow the driver start the vehicle and operate under the influence. Therefore, the Registry is highly suspicious of failed initial start tests showing alcohol which are followed by a .00 initial start reading ,which is followed by failed rolling rests which indicate alcohol. The Registry may interpret such a pattern as consistent with an intoxicated offender having another person blow into the device so that he can start the vehicle and this is the precise scenario which the rolling re-test feature is designed to prevent.

The ignition interlock device will generate a warning message if your blood alcohol concentration registers at or below .020. This does not constitute a violation. However, your blood alcohol level may rise while you are operating and if it registers at or above .021, this will constitute a violation. Therefore, you should be very careful if you get a warning from your IID.

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