If you have been convicted of OUI (Operating Under the Influence) in Massachusetts, there are many different situations where you will be required to install an Interlock Ignition Device in your vehicle in order to regain your driving privileges. In some cases, you will need to install an IID even if it was not part of your initial sentencing due to any additional dispensation that you may request from the court. You will learn more about these situations below.
Read below to learn about Interlock Ignition Devices, when you will be required to use one in Massachusetts, how long you will be required to use it, and more. Contact us now for a free initial consultation to get legal advice from an experienced professional, learn how we can help you navigate your case and work towards a positive outcome, and how we have helped clients in similar situations to your own in the past. We will be happy to work with you and identify the best possible options given the circumstances of your arrest, criminal record, and more, and build a defense that will move us in that direction.
What Is an Interlock Ignition Device?
An Interlock Ignition Device, or IID, is a built-in breathalyzer test installed in a vehicle. There is a mouthpiece on the unit that the driver must blow into in order to start their vehicle every time. The vehicle’s ignition will be disconnected until the driver blows into the device and has a BAC of below 0.08% (or the BAC agreed upon with the court or RMV). Once the driver is able to submit a valid breath test to the device, the vehicle is able to be started. The IID may also require the driver to blow into the device intermittently during their drive, in order to ensure that they have remained sober since the outset of their travels.
Many believe that an IID interferes with a car’s ability to operate while it is already in motion, but this is not the case. If a person attempts to bypass the IID by not submitting a clean breath test, or not submitting a test at all, the alarm will be activated until the keys are taken back out of the ignition. The device will not shut the vehicle off, because it will create a serious safety hazard if it were to kill the vehicle while it was on public roads.
When An IID Is Required
Melanies Law was enacted in 2005, which imposed very strict OUI laws in Massachusetts including the required use of an IID after a second OUI conviction. These laws are made clear in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 90, § 24, Chapter 90, § 24 ½, 540 CMR 25.00 and 801 CMR 4.02. Upon installation, you will be required to return to the installer every 30 days in order to have it checked to ensure it is in working condition, as well as to have the data sent to the RMV.
In some cases, a court may request that a person is required to install an IID even if it is not required by the Massachusetts law. In many cases, the state will agree to this request.
There are a variety of different reasons that you will be required to install an IID in your vehicle after being convicted of OUI. In each case, you will be required to pay for the device and the installation cost on your own, in addition to any other fees and fines you must pay in order to regain your driving privileges.
If you have been convicted of one OUI in Massachusetts, you will not be required to install an IID in your vehicle once you have completed your license suspension. However, if you are approved for a hardship license then you will be required to install and use an IID for the duration of the hardship license.
If you have been convicted of between two and four OUIs, you will be required to install an IID in your vehicle for two years after regaining your license. Additionally, you will be required to install and use the IID for any amount of time that you are driving with a hardship license. Any time that you use the IID during your hardship license privileges does not count towards the two years that you must use the IID.
If you are convicted of a fifth OUI in Massachusetts, you will lose your drivers license for life. There is no option to apply for a hardship license in this situation, meaning there is no option to use an IID in order to operate a motor vehicle at all.