IID Violations: Two failed rolling re-tests will result in a lifetime loss of license.
As of January 1, 2006, anyone that has had their drivers license suspended because of a second or subsequent charge of operating under the influence (OUI) and that is seeking a hardship license or the issuance or reinstatement of a drivers license, must install an ignition interlock device into each vehicle he or she leases, operates, or owns.
An ignition interlock device is “An alcohol sensing instrument mounted in an automobile and connected to the ignition system to prevent the vehicle from starting unless the driver first provides a satisfactory deep lung air sample. The device analyzes the deep lung air sample to determine the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the operator. If the measured BAC is above .02, the device prevents the vehicle from starting.”
In Massachusetts, approved Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) serve three main purposes:
- To lock out a person from driving if the breathalyzer measures a BAC at or above a preset threshold, the engine won’t start);
- To monitor the driver to ensure alcohol has not been consumed after the car was started; and
- To record information that can/will be reviewed and considered by the legal system.
Common Types of Ignition Interlock Device Violations and Possible Penalties
Penalties are stiff and can impact your ability to drive for more than a decade, or even your entire lifetime.
- Hardship License – An ignition interlock violation committed by someone with a hardship license will result in a revoked hardship license for the balance of the remaining revocation period plus an additional 10-year loss of license.
- Reinstated License – Anyone with a fully reinstated license that was granted, based on complying with the interlock device that commits an ignition violation will have their drivers license revoked for ten years.
- Rolling Re-Test Failures – Two failed rolling re-tests will result in a lifetime loss of license.
The most common ignition interlock device violations involve one for the following three offenses:
Operating Vehicle without Ignition Interlock Device—MGL Chapter 90 s. 24S(a) – shall be punished by fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $15,000 and by imprisonment for not less than 180 days nor more than 21/2 years or by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $15,000 and by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 21/2 years nor more than 5 years. The sentence imposed upon such person shall not be reduced to less than 150 days, nor suspended, nor shall any such person be eligible for probation, parole or furlough or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct until he shall have served 150 days of such sentence.
Bypassing Ignition Interlock For Another—MGL Chapter 90 s. 24U(a)(1) – punished by a fine not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 or imprisonment in a house of correction for not less than 6 months nor more than 21/2 years in the house of correction and, for a second or subsequent conviction, by imprisonment in a state prison for not less than 3 nor more than 5 years.
Tampering with Ignition Interlock Device—MGL Chapter 90 s. 24T(a) – Whoever interferes with or tampers with a certified ignition interlock device, with the intent to disable such device, shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not less than 6 months nor more than 21/2 years or by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 3 years nor more than 5 years.
Types of Ignition Interlock Violations
IIDs collects data including the breath test results, and the Ignition Interlock Violations can involve any of the following:
- Operating a motor vehicle without an Ignition Interlock Device;
- Asking or permitting any other person to blow into an Ignition Interlock Device;
- Operating the device by means other than blowing a breath directly from the operator’s mouth into the device;
- Any attempt to tamper with or circumvent the device;
- Rolling Re-Test violations;
- Two missed service visits.
Rolling Re-Test Violations
Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) is expressed in percent weight by volume (% w/v) based upon grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath in accordance with the Traffic Laws Annotated, Section 11- 902.1(a) (Supp. 1983). A BrAC of 0.10% w/v means 0.10 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath (similarly, the Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC associated with a BrAC of .10% w/v means .10 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; except for the difference in the referenced volume measure–210 liters of breath vs. 100 ml of blood–the referenced grams of ethanol are identical). Alcohol concentrations in either breath or in air mixtures can be expressed in milligrams of alcohol per liter of air (mg/l); to convert mg/l to units of percent weight by volume, multiply by 0.21. These interlock devices are designed to allow a vehicle ignition switch to start the engine when the BrAC test result is below the alcohol setpoint, while locking the ignition when the breath test result is at or above the alcohol setpoint.
A Rolling Re-Test is when the IID randomly requires the driver to recheck their breath after the engine as been started. Massachusetts state regulations require drivers who must use an ignition interlock device to periodically submit additional breath samples while they drive to prove the continued absence of alcohol.
Generally, the IID will prompt the driver to submit another breath sample, usually within five minutes (IIDs test randomly between 4 and 8 minutes) of the engine starting, and again at random intervals while the engine is running.
Failure to successfully complete tests prompted by the IID can result in driver lock-out, but can also lead to you losing your license for ten years. Rolling Re-Test violations include:
- Failing a Rolling Re-test in which the operator’s BAC registered at or above .05;
- Two Failed Rolling Re-tests within one Service Period where the operator’s BAC registered between .02 and .05. A rolling re-test is breath test taken by the operator of any vehicle equipped with an ignition device while the vehicle is running that shows the operator has a BAC greater than .02.
- Two Lockouts due to missed Rolling Re-tests.
Penalties for Ignition Interlock Violations
An ignition interlock violation committed by someone with a hardship license will result in a revoked hardship license for the balance of the remaining revocation period plus an additional 10-year loss of license.
Anyone with a fully reinstated license that was granted, based on complying with the interlock device that commits an ignition violation will have their drivers license revoked for ten years.
Two failed rolling re-tests will result in a lifetime loss of license.
If you are accused of an interlock violation you are entitled to hearing in front of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. The Registrar must determine by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., a greater than 50% chance) that you committed the violation. The formal rules of evidence do not apply and the Registrar is allowed to consider any information it believes is relevant.
Have You Been Charged With an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Violation?
Call 508-584-6955 For A Free Initial Consultation
An IID charge is a serious charge and can result in jail time, financial penalties, and loss of your drive license for more than a decade — or even for the rest of your life. If you are facing an IID charge you need a lawyer that knows the ins and outs of this area of law. No matter where you are located in Massachusetts, expert legal help is just a phone call away. To schedule a free, no-obligation case review and free consultation with an experienced Greater Boston Area, Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer call our law offices at (508) 584-6955.