CBS Boston

Interlock Ignition Device (IID)- Massachusetts

Under Melanie’s Law, passed in 2005, if you have two or more OUI convictions, you will need to have an interlock ignition device (IID) installed in your car before you can ever drive again in Massachusetts. The IID must be installed & used in every vehicle that you own, lease, or operate (including your employer’s vehicle). A restriction will be added to your license making it illegal to operate a vehicle that does not have an IID.

This law applies to people who have, or are seeking, a hardship license or license reinstatement after a 2nd or subsequent conviction for Operating Under the Influence. The Registry of Motor Vehicles is interpreting this law in the harshest way. People convicted of a 2nd or subsequent offense even BEFORE THIS LAW WAS PASSED are now subject to the IID requirement. There is also an unlimited “look-back” period, meaning your OUI convictions could have occurred thirty or forty years ago, and you will still fall subject to the IID laws. Your convictions may even be from out of state- but if the Registry knows about them, you will be subject to the IID requirement. Although this is extremely unfair, it is the harsh reality, and so far there doesn’t seem to be any way around this strict reading of the law.

What is an Interlock Ignition Device (IID)?

An IID is a breath-monitoring device that is installed and connected to your vehicle’s ignition system. It requires the driver to provide a breath sample before the vehicle’s engine will start. If your blood alcohol content reads higher than a .02 (in most cases, less than one drink), your car will not start. Additionally, you will be required to “pass” rolling re-tests while you are driving.

RMV Penalties for IID Violations
  • If your IID goes into lockout more than once in a thirty day period for either failing an initial breath test or missing a rolling re-test, you may receive a 10-year license revocation.
  • If your IID goes into lockout due to a failed rolling re-test, or because the IID has been tampered with, you may receive a 10-year license revocation. You will be required to meet with an RMV hearings officer who will determine whether to revoke your license.
  • Two failed rolling re-tests, two missed IID inspections, or removal of the device before the IID restriction period is over may result in a lifetime license revocation.
Criminal Offenses Relating to IID Violations
  • Operating a Motor Vehicle Without a Certified Functioning Interlock Ignition Device While License has IID Restriction carries a mandatory minimum 180 day jail sentence and $1,000 fine, up to 5 years in state prison and $15,000 fine.
  • Tampering with an IID with the intent to disable its functioning carries a mandatory minimum 6 month jail sentence, up to 5 years in state prison.
  • Breathing into an IID for the purpose of starting the car for another operator whose license is subject to the IID restriction carries a mandatory $1,000 fine or 6 months in jail, up to $5,000 fine and 2 1/2 years in jail. A second conviction for this offense carries a mandatory minimum of 3 years in state prison, up to 5 years in state prison.

Contact my office if you've been charged with a Massachusetts OUI or any other criminal offense. I am available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for your free initial phone consultation.

Urbelis Law, LLC

50 Milk St 16th Floor
Boston, MA 02109
Phone: (617) 830-2188

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"Ben Urbelis recently represented me in an OUI case in which I had crashed my car. I honestly did not believe I had any chance of beating it, but fortunately for me Ben was outstanding and all charges were dropped. In my first hearing he was calm, assertive and straight to the point. I was extremely impressed and satisfied. I left my hearing feeling confident that I had made the right choice of hiring him. I am positive I would have lost this case and walked away with an OUI if I hadn't. I am very happy with how he handled my case and how reassured I felt having him as my lawyer." MC
"When I found myself charged with my 3rd DUI I was certain without a doubt that I was facing 6 months to 2 1/2 years in state prison. I can’t believe you were able to guide me calmly through the whole nerve wracking process, never sugar coating anything, staying honest and always keeping me informed the whole time. I still can’t believe that in the end you pulled off a miracle to avoidany jail time. I would recommend you to anyone in the same situation. Thank you so much. You saved me.” JL
"I want to personally thank Ben and his wonderful a staff at Urbelis Law for what an outstanding job they did for my son and his friends! Ben went above and beyond for them, with a successful outcome. I would highly recommend Ben to anyone that would need his services, he was wonderful!" Gina
"Huge thank you to not only my friend, but my lawyer,Ben Urbelis..I presented him with a case that at first was a bit tricky on paper... but we worked hard together and got all information we needed to prove i was innocent! He knew from the get go a year ago that he was gonna smash this case, and he did!! Cant thank you enough man! If anyone needs a lawyer, hes your guy... no question" PB
"Thank you for your excellent representation in this matter. Coming from out of town, it wasreassuringto have an attorney who was so well organized and on top of the process. It was very clear that the judge was not only familiar with you, but had a great deal of respect for you in the courtroom. I appreciate all the effort you put into my case, and thank you again for a successful representation!" RC