Will I have to have an ignition interlock device on my car?

No. It is never mandatory that you place an ignition interlock on your vehicle. However, if you choose to obtain a hardship license prior to the expiration of the entire period of alcohol related revocation of your Massachusetts driver's license, then you must have an interlock for the remaining time left on the revocation, plus an additional two years.

For example, a person convicted of a second OUI will be required to get an interlock device prior to the issuance of a hardship license. The critical language there is "prior to the issuance of a Massachusetts hardship license". Read this twice. I say issuance because you will be getting a new license. You will not get "your license" back. Instead, you will get a new license, with your same license number, and your image on file with the RMV printed upon it. It is similar to the concept of cutting up a credit card- it doesn't make the account go away. And you can call the bank for a new card. Of course, with the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, they are not often willing to issue you a new license if you have been convicted of operating under the influence.

Recently, I had a case where a man was accused of operating without an ignition interlock installed. But the man did not have a license to operate with an interlock. The case was dismissed under Commonwealth v. Petit, 83 Mass. App. Ct. 401 (2013). The Petit case held that a person whom does not have a hardship license cannot be convicted of operating without an ignition interlock. Why? The reason is because one of the elements is that the person have a valid hardship license. And, he did not. So the case was dismissed.

An ignition interlock device is not required for reinstatement of license suspended for a drug conviction. Like I said in the first paragraph, these devices are meant for alcohol related convictions- not drug related convictions. Again, the government CANNOT make you get an ignition interlock device. It's your choice.

Categories: DUI
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