The Ignition Interlock Department of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will be requiring that real time violation devices be installed later this year. These devices are capable of real time reporting of violations to the RMV by using a cellular modem. The devices also record and can report location data and speed by using Global Positioning Sensor (GPS) Technology.
Devices approved for use in Massachusetts are manufactured by service providers such as Draeger Safety Diagnostics, Inc., Smart Start, Inc., Consumer Safety Technology (CST), and LifeSafer. It is unknown what the costs or installation fees will be for the new devices.
These new real time ignition interlock devices will be equipped with cameras which will record the breath sample being provided. These images will be used to determine who was providing the breath samples which are required to start an ignition interlock equipped vehicle and for rolling re-tests.
The camera can be used when an ignition interlock customer is accused of an initial start or rolling re-test failure when the vehicle is being serviced or operated by a mechanic. These service personnel may not be familiar with the requirements of the interlock device. Also, the camera images can be used to defend against ignition interlock violations when a customer lends his or her vehicle to someone and the person who borrowed the vehicle attempts to start a vehicle after having been drinking.
The Registry’s Interlock Department will use the camera technology to detect and prevent circumvention of the interlock requirement, as some drivers have used blowers, pumps, and other devices to defeat the breath test requirement.
The cameras cannot be used to “spy” on motorists. They are only activated when the driver is taking a breath test. The small and unobtrusive camera is mounted on the driver’s windshield. The camera will take a snapshot of the person providing the breath sample, which the Registry can compare to the driver’s license image on file to see if the sample is being provided by the IID program participant or someone else.
These cameras will eventually become standard equipment and they will likely be required by all states. There is proposed legislation pending at the Massachusetts Statehouse which will amend the Massachusetts Ignition Interlock Device Law, G.L. c. 90 § 24 ½, which specifically requires the use of cameras or other means of positively identifying the person who provides the breath sample.