People who are convicted of an OUI or admit to sufficient facts (CWOF) for a 2nd offense OUI, 3rd offense OUI and so on, have to comply with certain conditions from the Registry of Motor Vehicles before they are allowed to drive again. One example of a condition is called using an ignition interlock device.
What is an ignition interlock device?
An ignition interlock device (IID) is an electronic sensor that is installed in a person’s motor vehicle. The purpose of the device is to prevent a person who has consumed alcohol from starting a car. The device is about the size of a cell phone, and it is directly connected to the vehicle’s ignition.
The device requires you to blow into the device before (and during) the operation of the car. At random points during your trip the device will make a noise and require you to re-test. You have five minutes to do so.
Ignition interlock devices keep a record of all your test results and vehicle activity. If you fail any test or do not take a required rolling re-test on the road that information is recorded and may have consequences later.
If you fail the initial test your car will not start because your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is too high. Too high means greater than .02%. For most people this is about one drink. You will have to wait until your BAC decreases in order to drive.
Who gets an ignition interlock device?
- People with two or more OUI convictions
- Certain first-time offenders who took a breathalyzer at the time of their arrest with a BAC result of .15% or greater and are seeking a hardship license
In the first category, for those who are eligible for a hardship license you must use the device for the length of the hardship license and two years after your license is reinstated. For people eligible for license reinstatement you must use the device for two years after your license is reinstated. The important thing to remember is the minimum is two years.
Your lawyer will guide you on your eligibility for a hardship license or reinstatement. For more information on hardship licenses click here.
What happens after my ignition interlock device period runs out?
Your IID restriction will not automatically go away once you have gone through the required period of using the device. You will need to go before the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) for a hearing to get permission to remove the device.
Do I have to do anything if I’m required to use an ignition interlock device?
The answer is yes. If you are required to use an ignition interlock device you are responsible for its installation, maintenance, and its costs and fees.
The RMV only approves certain vendors and service providers. You are required to get your device installed by one of these approved businesses. The RMV will provide you with a list of vendors in your area.
- Maintenance: You are also responsible for maintaining and properly using the IID. Every 25-30 days you must have the device serviced at one of the approved service providers. This is called the service period. During these service visits the data the IID stores is uploaded to an RMV server so they can keep track of your driving activity.
- Maintenance also means properly using your IID. The RMV will give your instructions on what not to do with your device. Tampering with the IID in any way is not allowed and could result in lockout.
- Costs and Fees. Finally, you are responsible for the costs of using an ignition interlock device. Approved vendors will usually charge an about $200 installation fee. The RMV will also require that you pay a $30 a month program administration fee.
What about a IID violation?
IID violations can have serious consequences, from additional license suspensions to possible criminal charges. It is important that you follow all the rules and procedures of using your ignition interlock device as your service provider and the RMV instruct you.
In any case, if you find yourself facing any penalty for not using an ignition interlock device properly contact a criminal defense attorney right away.
IID violations include the following:
- Operating a motor vehicle without an IID
- Using another person to blow for you during the initial breath test or during a rolling re-test
- Improperly blowing into the IID
- Tampering with the IID
- Any failed rolling re-test where your BAC registered above .05%
- Two failed rolling re-tests within one service period where your BAC registered between .02 and .05%
- Two lockouts due to missed rolling re-tests
- Two missed service visits
- Two lockouts due to failing initial breath tests
The RMV will hold a hearing if your device reports an IID violation. A violation accusation can be defended against. For example, sometimes ignition interlock devices experience technical issues and report infractions and violations that never occurred. Other times there can be evidentiary issues that case doubt on an accusation of not following the rules. Your defense attorney will guide you through the process, negotiate on your behalf, and give you the best possible defense.
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH OPERATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.
CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.