Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) have become a significant component of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) penalties in Massachusetts. If you’ve been convicted of a DUI offense, you may be required to install an IID in your vehicle as a condition of reinstating your driving privileges. In this blog post, we’ll explore the role of Ignition Interlock Devices after a DUI in Massachusetts, their purpose, benefits, and what you can expect during the IID program.

  1. What is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

An Ignition Interlock Device is a breathalyzer-like device installed in your vehicle that measures your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) before allowing the engine to start. It requires you to provide a breath sample by blowing into the device, and if the sample indicates a BAC above the programmed limit, the engine will not start.

  1. IID Requirements in Massachusetts

After a DUI conviction in Massachusetts, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) may require the installation of an IID to reinstate your driving privileges. The length of the IID requirement depends on the specific circumstances of your case, including how, many previous DUI offenses you have had.

More particularly, if you have had your license suspension for an OUI / DUI conviction from Massachusetts or any other jurisdiction for a second offense, you will be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in any vehicle you will be driving for a period of two years after your license is reinstated.  If, before your full license is reinstated, you are granted a hardship license, you will need to use the IID for the period of the hardship license, plus an additional two years after your full license is reinstated.  The periods become longer for third offenses and greater.

  1. Cost and Responsibility

As the individual convicted of a DUI, you are responsible for the costs associated with the IID. These costs typically include installation fees, monthly rental fees, and maintenance costs. It’s important to budget for these expenses as they can vary depending on the IID provider.

  1. Benefits and Considerations

While the IID requirement may initially seem burdensome, it serves several important purposes. Firstly, it acts as a deterrent, reducing the likelihood of repeat offenses by preventing individuals from driving under the influence. Secondly, it promotes public safety by ensuring that only sober individuals are operating vehicles equipped with IIDs. Finally, it allows you to regain your driving privileges, enabling you to meet daily obligations such as work, school, and family responsibilities.

However, it’s crucial to consider the potential implications of having an IID in your vehicle. The presence of the device may attract attention from passengers, colleagues, or family members, potentially leading to uncomfortable conversations. Additionally, some employers have policies regarding the use of IIDs, so it’s important to be aware of any workplace implications.

  1. Compliance and Monitoring

During the IID program, you must comply with maintenance, calibration, and reporting requirements set by the RMV and the IID provider. Regular maintenance visits, typically every 30-60 days, are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the device. Non-compliance or attempting to tamper with the IID can result in further legal consequences and an extended IID period.

  1. Potential Criminal Offense for Non-Compliance with IID

It is important to note that there are several separate criminal offenses related to non-compliance or misuse of an IID.  Some of these include:

  • Operating a vehicle which does not have an IID
  • Allowing someone who you know is required to use an IID to drive your car that does not have one
  • Blowing into a IID for someone you know is required to use one to get their car started
  • Tampering with an IID

Each of these offenses are criminal offenses which all carry the potential for jail sentences if convicted.

  1. Completion of the IID Program

Upon successfully completing the required IID period, you can have the device removed. It is essential to follow all instructions provided by the IID provider and fulfill all program obligations to ensure a smooth transition.

In conclusion, Ignition Interlock Devices play a crucial role in the aftermath of a DUI conviction in Massachusetts. While they come with financial considerations and social implications, IIDs are effective tools for preventing drunk driving and promoting road safety. By complying with the requirements of the IID program and seeking guidance from legal professionals, you can navigate the process and regain your driving privileges responsibly. If you have any questions, please feel free to call or text us at (617) 227-8383.