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What is an ignition interlock device?

Drivers in Massachusetts who have been convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol may be required to have an ignition interlock device. This device tests the alcohol level of the driver and is court ordered in certain situations.

According to the Massachusetts government, an IID is a monitoring device that is installed in the driver's vehicle and tests for breath alcohol. A passed test is required in order to start the vehicle, and then it randomly requires retests while being operated. This device is required for drivers who have been convicted of OUI two or more times. The minimum court order is for two years, and it may be in the vehicle of a driver who has a hardship license or for one who has a newly reinstated license.

An IID requires the driver to be responsible for a number of financial obligations. They must pay for the installation and removal of the device as well as monthly maintenance fees. Drivers who misuse the device or fail the breath test face a number of consequences. 

The Registry of Motor Vehicles states missing or failing a retest results in a lockout of the vehicle. When this occurs, the driver must attend a hearing in front of the Registry and a license revocation of ten years can occur if found to be responsible for the lockout. If found to be responsible more than once, the driver faces a license revocation for life. Their license will also be revoked if they drive any vehicle that does not have an IID.


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