Will I Have to Get an Ignition Interlock for a DUI Offense in Massachusetts?

Information on the Ignition Interlock Device in the Codfish State of MA

Ignition Interlock for a DUI Offense in MassachusettsWhen it comes to crimes involving drinking and driving, DUI, and OUI charges, all cities in the state of Massachusetts follow the same MA Ignition Interlock laws regardless if it occurs in Boston, Worcester, Salem, Cambridge, Lowell, Quincy, New Bedford, Plymouth, or anywhere else in the state. Drivers who are pulled over and determined to be operating their vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more will be charged with Operating Under the Influence (OUI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The penalties for both of these crimes are many and include fines, license suspension, and use of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). In order to find potential ways how to avoid an Ignition Interlock as well as prevent a suspended driver’s license in MA, a person will need to have the details of the arrest examined as soon as possible to explore the best defense options.

In addition to being charged with OUI or DUI for having a BAC of 0.08 percent or more in Massachusetts, drivers can be charged with these crimes for lower BACs. Those who are operating a commercial vehicle can be charged with OUI or DUI if their BAC is 0.04 percent or more, and drivers under the age of 21 can be charged if their BAC is at or above 0.02 percent. Government research has determined that all individuals’ functioning is impaired when they reach a BAC of 0.08 percent, which is what most states have adopted as their threshold for drinking and driving related crimes.

What Are the Interlock Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Massachusetts?

Drivers who are charged and then convicted of OUI or DUI face a number of different penalties for their crimes in MA. These punishments are used as a way to prevent offenders from repeating their drinking and driving behavior while also discouraging others from doing the same. First time offenders of OUI or DUI in the state of Massachusetts face penalties including:

  • Up to 30 Months in Jail
  • Fines Between $500 and $5,000
  • Driver’s License Suspension of One Year
  • Having to Get an Ignition Interlock Device Installed

Repeat offenders in MA often face harsher penalties for their OUI or DUI crimes. Repeat offenders in the state of Massachusetts are those with a previous OUI or DUI offense on their record from any point in their lives – this state has what is known as a “lifetime lookback period.” Second time offenders of OUI or DUI in the state of Massachusetts face penalties including:

  • 30 Days to 30 Months in Jail
  • Fines Between $600 and $10,000
  • Driver’s License Suspension of Two Years
  • Having to Use a DUI/OUI Interlock Device For at Least 1 Year

Third time offenders of OUI or DUI in the state of Massachusetts face penalties including:

  • 150 Days to Five Years in Jail
  • Fines Between $1,000 and $15,000
  • Driver’s License Suspension of Eight Years
  • Having to Install an Ignition Interlock For 2 Years on Average

What is the Implied Consent Law for DUI & OUI Arrests in Massachusetts

Like many other states across the US, the state of Massachusetts enforces what is called an “implied consent law” for DUI and OUI offense charges. This law states anyone issued a driver’s license in Massachusetts automatically consents to having chemical testing conducted to determine their BAC. This DUI chemical testing can include urine testing, Breathalyzer testing, and/or blood testing. Should drivers refuse to submit to this testing, they face a monetary fine and an automatic driver’s license suspension, as well as having to get an Ignition Interlock device installed on any car they will be driving.

The length of a MA driver’s license suspension is determined by the number of previous offenses the driver has on record. First time offenders of OUI or DUI who refuse chemical testing face an automatic 180-day driver’s license suspension. Second time offenders, or those with one previous OUI or DUI offense, face a three-year license suspension. Third time offenders who have two previous drinking and driving offenses face a five-year license suspension.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device and How Does It Work in MA?

An Massachusetts Ignition Interlock device is very similar to a traditional Breathalyzer, except the DUI/OUI interlock is connected to a vehicle’s ignition system and mounted on the vehicle’s dashboard or in another location within the vehicle. Drivers are required to blow into the device before starting the vehicle – should the IID detect the driver’s BAC is above the programmed threshold, the device locks the vehicle’s ignition system and the engine does not start.

When drivers blow into the interlock device, a fuel cell inside the IID analyzes the breath sample given to determine the driver’s blood alcohol content level. As previously mentioned, should the reading be above the preprogrammed threshold, the vehicle does will not start, but if the sample is determined to be within the preprogrammed threshold, the car starts as normal. In some cases, the Ignition Interlock system is set to do intermittent testing while the vehicle is being used to prevent other individuals from giving breath samples.

When is Using an Ignition Interlock Device Required in the State of Massachusetts?

The state of Massachusetts authorizes the use of an IID for certain OUI or DUI offenders depending on the circumstances surrounding their case. The court allows the installation and use of an Ignition Interlock device as a condition of reinstating the offender’s driver’s license in the following 3 circumstances:

1. If the offender has two or more OUI/DUI convictions and is eligible for a hardship driver’s license

  • The DUI/OUI offender must use the Ignition Interlock device for the entire length of the hardship license
  • The offender must use the IID for an additional two years after the hardship license has ended

2. If the offender has two or more OUI/DUI convictions and is eligible for a driver’s license reinstatement

  • The offender must use the Interlock for two years

3. If the court authorizes the use of an Ignition Interlock device in MA, the offender must use the IID for whatever length of time has been determined by the judge

Who is Responsible for Paying for the Full Cost of an Ignition Interlock Device in Massachusetts?

In most cases involving the use of an Ignition Interlock in MA, DUI and OUI offenders are responsible for paying all costs associated with using the device. This most often includes paying for the device’s installation as well as the monthly lease payments and any additional maintenance costs they incur. Offenders should expect to pay $100 for installation and an additional $70 to $120 in monthly lease payments.

What is the Process of Obtaining and Installing an Ignition Interlock Device in Massachusetts?

When individuals have been authorized to use an Interlock device for a DUI or OUI offense, they will need to lease the device from a state approved Ignition Interlock device provider. These providers can be located across the state of Massachusetts, and a full list of approved companies can be found on the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicle’s website. Once the device has been leased from the approved provider, offenders also have to ensure the device is professionally installed to the state’s standards.

Once this process has been completed, it is likely proof of lease and installation needs to be provided to the court, judge, probation officer, and/or MA Registry of Motor Vehicles for the state. In most cases, a copy of the lease agreement with the IID provider and a copy of the receipt of having the device installed is enough to ensure the court the device was installed to the standard. After a local Massachusetts Ignition Interlock attorney reviews a person’s own DUI or OUI arrest circumstances online with us, they can then be able inform a driver of what possible ways and options are available for how to avoid having to get and install an Ignition Interlock device in:

[column col=”1/4″]Barnstable County
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[column col=”1/4″]Abington
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[column col=”1/4″]Hopkinton
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[column col=”1/4″]Rockport
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