Massachusetts's Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Program
In 2005, Massachusetts passed Melanie's Law,which increased the penalties for driving while intoxicated (OUI) and further established the state's Ignition Interlock Device (IID) program.
The IID program requires drivers with multiple OUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle when they apply for license reinstatement. A new or restored license won't be issued unless the driver installs an IID in every car they own, operate, or leases for two years.
The ignition interlock device is designed to prevent motorist with a tainted driving record from operating a vehicle intoxicated. Drivers with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of 0.02% or higher won't be able to start the car.
How The IID Works
Drivers with an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle have to pass a breathalyzer test to turn on the car. The equipment connects to the vehicle's ignition system with a handset installed under the dashboard. To drive the motorist must blow into the handset and have their breath analyzed.
If the driver's BAC registers at the pre-set BAC limit (0.02%) or higher, the vehicle will not turn on, and the equipment will record a violation. Multiple violations will result in a lockout that could lead to enhanced penalties including license revocation.
Considerations Regarding the BAC Limit
Massachusetts's IID program is intended to combat the real dangers of drunk driving. So naturally, the BAC limit for an IID is very low.
The legal limit for a standard OUI is 0.08%, which means that you probably won't feel drunk with a BAC level of 0.02%. An innocent glass of wine or a sip of beer at dinner might be enough to warrant an IID violation. Therefore, it is vital that you be careful to keep in good standing with the law.
"Can Someone Else Blow Into My IID? "
It is also crucial that you refrain from getting someone else to blow in your IID for you. The equipment was designed to ensure that the driver didn't consume alcohol while driving or solicited another party to provide the initial breath sample.
To prevent drivers from cheating the system, the ignition interlock device requires drivers to comply with random rolling retest while the engine is running.
A re-test with a BAC reading of .05 is an IID violation in Massachusetts punishable by ten years to a lifetime license revocation. Two or more rolling retest violations (BAC between .02-.05) during a service period will also result in license revocation.
Protecting Your License After an IID Violation
Life after a Massachusetts OUI can be challenging, especially if a judge orders the installation of ignition interlock device on your vehicle. During this period, it is crucial that you follow the law to avoid losing your driving privileges.
Remember that soliciting another person to provide a breath sample for an IID restriction, at any one time, may result in an additional license suspension or revocation. Avoid making this grave mistake, and you should be fine.