OUI offenders in MA may be required to use interlock devices

Massachusetts requires certain OUI offenders to use ignition interlock devices in their vehicles, and follow certain guidelines while using them.

Massachusetts motorists who are convicted of operating under the influence face a myriad of penalties, including fines, driver's license suspension and possible jail time. Repeat OUI offenders may also be required to use an ignition interlock device on their vehicles, which would prevent them from having repeat drunk driving incidents. Although interlock devices may be costly to offenders who are ordered to install, repair and maintain them on their vehicles, they give convicted OUI offenders the opportunity to travel to school, work, doctors' appointments and any other necessary destinations.

How do interlock devices work?

Ignition interlock devices act much like roadside breath test devices that law enforcement officers use to determine if a driver is over the legal limit. These machines, however, are installed in the ignition system of the car and control whether the car will operate. According to TechHive.com, drivers must submit a breath sample before the car will start, and then periodically throughout the drive. If the driver has a blood alcohol content level that registers above a preset limit, which is 0.02 percent, the test will fail and the driver must wait before he or she can attempt to start the car again.

Rolling retests and lockouts

In order to prevent people from misusing the interlock device, rolling retests are required to keep the vehicle going. The vehicle will signal motorists to submit random breath tests while they are driving the car. Any information regarding failed or missed rolling retests is recorded within the device and will be reported to authorities during the IID maintenance appointment.

In some cases, a driver may be locked out of the car if he or she:

• Fails a rolling retest with a BAC level that is greater than 0.05 percent

• Misses a rolling retest altogether

• Fails to take the vehicle in every 30 days for a maintenance appointment

• Tampers with the IID

Once a driver receives a lockout, he or she may be scheduled for a hearing in order to determine what course of action should be taken.

Ignition interlock device penalties

In some states across the country, all convicted drunk drivers must use interlock devices on their vehicles for a period of time. Yet, Massachusetts only requires certain offenders to use these machines. According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, repeat offenders who have two or more convictions and have been issued a hardship license must use the device. Judges can also use their discretion to order IID use whenever they feel necessary.

Finding legal assistance

Facing OUI charges on your own can be extremely stressful. You may not know how the process works and may have difficulties making key decisions during such a traumatic time. In situations like these, you may want to turn to a defense lawyer in Massachusetts who can help by listening to the details of your case. You may have legal options that you are not aware of, and an attorney may be able to point you in the right direction.