What is an IID?
An IID is an ignition interlock device. It is a device that may be installed in your vehicle as part of a punishment for an operating a motor vehicle under the influence (OUI) conviction. The device is installed in your vehicle and disables your vehicle’s ignition unless a positive evaluation is received. An IID looks a lot like a breathalyzer, a device used to test a person’s blood alcohol level (BAC), and that is exactly what an IID is: a breathalyzer that renders your vehicle inoperable until a BAC of less than 0.08%, or whatever was implemented by the court, is blown. Sometimes, the IID may also require a re-test while you are operating the vehicle.
In Massachusetts, IIDs are required for multiple offenders who have received two or more OUI convictions. They are also required for drivers with a conditional hardship driver’s license and drivers whose driver’s licenses are eligible for reinstatement following completion of the OUI license suspension or revocation periods.
How Will Tampering Affect My Driving Privileges?
If a judge has ordered an ignition interlock device for your vehicle, then you have certain responsibilities. You will be required to bring your vehicle with the IID to the IID service provider every 25-30 days. The purpose of these visits is to have the IID inspected for mechanical and functional faults as well as examined for signs of tampering. If a service visit is missed, your vehicle will go into lockout. If two service visits are missed, your driving privileges may be suspended for ten years.
A failed rolling re-test or tampering with the IID can result in a ten-year license revocation. Two failed rolling re-tests, two missed IID inspections, or removing the IID before the restriction period is over may result in a lifetime license revocation.
Tampering with an IID with the intent of disabling it carries a mandatory minimum six-month jail sentence up to a five-year sentence in state prison.
To summarize, the state of Massachusetts does not take OUIs lightly, and tampering with a court-ordered IID will result in stiff penalties that can result in punishments that can last a lifetime.
It is important to remember that it is illegal for anyone who is restricted to a vehicle with an IID to operate any vehicle without an IID.
What Counts as Tampering or Circumvention?
There are many ways to tamper with an IID, some that are obvious, others that are not so obvious. Some forms of tampering may include but are not limited to the following.
Cutting the wires that connect the IID to the vehicle
Deactivating the IID
Installing a bypass device
Running a wire from the car battery to the ignition, or “hot wiring.”
IIDs have failsafe as well as tamper evident measures, such as installation tape. When you bring your vehicle in for the required monthly service visits, the technicians will be able to tell if the IID has been tampered with and will be required to report the tampering in their report.
Circumvention of the IID is also illegal and is another form of tampering. Some IIDs are installed with cameras that take a picture only when the test is being initiated to ensure only the person whom the IID restricts is the one taking the test. Having a sober person or anyone other than the driver use the IID is against the law and will count as a violation.
Can a Lawyer Help?
Having an attorney who is experienced with OUI laws as well as IIDs can help you understand your rights and how to navigate the legal process. Finding an experienced OUI attorney early enough in the OUI process can even result in avoiding the penalties associated with OUIs entirely.
Call 508-625-5776 to schedule a free case review with the Law Office of Brian Simoneu, P.C. You can also visit our website and fill out the online contact forms to schedule a case review, as well as see our areas of practice.