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What is "Melanie's Law?"

If you have landed a DUI judgment in Massachusetts, you may find your penalty handed down under a statute called "Melanie's Law." But what does Melanie's Law entail, and how does this affect you?

Melanie's Law is a piece of Massachusetts legislation that, according to Mass.gov's page on impaired driving, increases penalties for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Under Melanie's Law, if you have been convicted of two or more OUIs then you are not permitted to drive without an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed on your vehicle.

So what is an IID? An IID is a locking device for your vehicle that relies on a built-in breathalyzer. The device is connected to your car's ignition system. If you cannot pass a breath test, the vehicle will not start. This is referred to as a "lockout," and will be recorded as part of compliance with the IID program and requirements for rehabilitation and reinstatement of your driving privileges. An IID cannot be legally removed by yourself.

The IID must remain on your vehicle for a minimum of two years. After that two years, you may regain full operational privileges of your vehicle if you have complied with the IID program and not suffered any lockouts or program violations in the six months before the removal request. If you fail to meet those requirements or if ordered by a judge, the IID may remain on your vehicle for a longer period.

This blog post is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be misconstrued as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified professional.

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