Massachusetts Ignition Interlock Device Installers:
• Leonard’s Auto Repair [Taunton, MA]
• GTS Tint Pro [Fairhaven, MA]
• Extreme Audio [Hyannis, MA]
• Campos Auto Detailing [Milford, MA]
• Audio Video Integration [Newton, MA]
• Anthony’s Auto Electronics [Pittsfield, MA]
• Hudson Road Automotive [Stow, MA]
• Xtreme Audio [Swansea, MA]
• Audiowerks, Inc. [Tewksbury, MA]
• Cap & Hitch of New England [West Springfield, MA]
• Island Automotive Repair [Worcester, MA]
Massachusetts Ignition Interlock Guidelines:
The Act Increasing Penalties For Drunk Drivers in the Commonwealth, also known as
“Melanie’s Law,” went into effect on October 28, 2005. Its purpose, as suggested by its name, is to enhance the penalties and administrative sanctions for Operating Under the Influence (OUI) offenders in Massachusetts.
Melanie’s Law requires that an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) be used both by drivers with a hardship license and by drivers whose licenses are eligible for reinstatement.
In addition to this new law, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is changing its policy regarding who is eligible for a hardship license. To be eligible for a hardship license in Massachusetts, you must now be able to present proof that you do not have access by public transportation to your required destination.
What Is An Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?
An IID is a handheld breath-alcohol monitoring device (approximately the size of a cellphone) that is electronically connected to a vehicle’s ignition. Before starting your vehicle, the breathalyzer requires you to take and pass a breath test. It also requires you to take re-tests while you are operating the vehicle.
Who Needs An IID?
There are three possible scenarios in which you need to use an IID:
1. If you have 2 or more OUI convictions (for alcohol or controlled substances) and are eligible for a hardship license, you must use the ignition interlock device for the length of the hardship license. You must also use the IID for an additional 2 years after your license is reinstated.
2. If you have 2 or more OUI convictions (for alcohol or controlled substances) and are eligible for license reinstatement, you must use the BAIID for 2 years after your license is reinstated. This 2-year period is in addition to any time you may have used the breathalyzer with a hardship license.
3. If a court orders you to use the breathalyzer for any reason, you must use the BAIID for the length of the court order.
Note: Upon completion of the required period, your breathalyzer will not be authorized for removal if you had any breathalyzer infractions or violations during the past six consecutive months.
The BAIID must be used in every registered vehicle that you own, lease, or operate (including your employer’s vehicle). A restriction will be added to your license making it illegal to operate a vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device.
If you do not have the ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle(s), you will not be eligible for a hardship license and you will not be allowed to have your license reinstated.
Policy for Out-of-State Residents
Melanie’s Law does apply to out-of-state licensed drivers who are convicted of two or more OUIs in Massachusetts. If an IID is required, you cannot drive in Massachusetts without one. To find out if you are eligible to reinstate your right to operate in Massachusetts, you will need to contact a Hearings Officer.
Upon notification that you need an breathalyzer, you are responsible for all of the following:
• Installation – You must contact a vendor and schedule an installation.
• Payment – You must pay the vendor all of the required leasing and maintenance fees.
• Maintenance visits – You must return to the vendor within 30 days for your scheduled maintenance and data upload.
• Proper usage – You must follow all of the rules and guidelines you are given for using the BAIID and you must never tamper with or try to circumvent the use of the BAIID.
Minimum Vehicle Requirements For IID Use in Massachusetts
In order for an IID to be installed, your vehicle must have a 12-volt electrical system and it must be in good running order. Check with an ignition interlock device vendor for more details.
The BAIID will not be installed on motorcycles.
How Do I Get An Ignition Interlock Device Installed In My Vehicle?
1. Visit an RMV Hearings Officer for a hearing. The Hearings Officer will explain the criteria for hardship or full reinstatement.
Do not have an IID installed before you have received approval from a Hearings Officer.
2. Once you have been approved for a hardship or full reinstatement, the Hearings Officer will give you a list of certified IID vendors. You will also be given paperwork and legal statements (affidavits) that must be completed and notarized. By signing these affidavits, you certify that you, as well as each licensed driver in your household, understand that you are not allowed to drive any vehicle without an BAIID and that you cannot try to bypass the breathalyzer in any way. The penalties for these actions are included on the affidavits.
3. Call a certified IID vendor for an installation appointment. Do NOT plan to drive yourself to the appointment – there are no exceptions to your requirement to drive a car with an breathalyzer. When you go to your appointment, bring proof of your identity. The vendor will install the breathalyzer in your vehicle and will give you detailed instructions on how to use and maintain it.
4. Once the BAIID has been installed, you must return to a Hearings Officer with the completed affidavits and proof of installation. A “Z” restriction will be added to your license. This restriction means that you are only allowed to operate a vehicle equipped with an BAIID. At this point, you will be able to complete the license reinstatement process.
How Does The BAIID Work?
Once the IID is installed, it must be used as follows:
1. Turn on the ignition and wait for the BAIID to display instructions indicating that you need to take an initial breath test.
2. Blow into the IID for a few seconds. If you pass the initial breath test, the BAIID will display the word “pass” and your vehicle will start.
If you fail the test (blood alcohol concentration of greater than .02), the ignition interlock device will display the word “fail” and you will not be able to start your vehicle. You will then need to wait for your blood alcohol concentration to decrease before you take another test.
If you fail a second time within a service period, your vehicle will go into lockout and you will need to visit your vendor.
3. After the vehicle has started, you will be required to take rolling re-tests at random intervals while operating the vehicle. When it is time for a rolling re-test, the IID will beep and you will have five minutes to take the test. You can take the rolling re-test while driving, but it is recommended that, if it is safe and legal to do so, you pull over to the side of the road (on some roads this is illegal). If you do not take the rolling re-test, or if you turn off the ignition before taking the rolling re-test, this will be considered a missed test.
Note: The BAIID will never shut your engine off after it has been started.
The ignition interlock device records all of your test results and all of your vehicle activity. Within 30 days, you will need to return to the vendor for a monthly maintenance visit (scheduled by the vendor). At this time, the vendor will upload the data from the IID and transmit this data to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
If your breathalyzer goes into a state of lockout, you will be given 48 hours to return to the vendor, who will upload the data and reset the ignition interlock device. If you do not return to the vendor within this time period, your vehicle will remain in a state of lockout and will need to be towed (at your expense) to the vendor.
Massachusetts RMV Hearings Officers
Hearings are held on a walk-in basis, unless your notice specifies a certain date, time, and place for your hearing.
If you desire a walk-in IID hearing, we strongly recommend you arrive prior to 4:00 pm. Walkin hearing hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Mon, Tue, Wed, and Fri) and 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Thurs) at the following locations:
Full Time Hearings Locations (Monday through Friday, excluding holidays): Boston, Braintree, Fall River, Lawrence, Springfield, and Worcester
Part Time Hearings Locations (selected days):
South Yarmouth (Mon/Tues) and Wilmington (Mon/Tues)
Note: Hearings days or locations are subject to change without notice. If a hearing cannot be held for any reason at a particular location, the branch staff can direct you to the nearest available location for service.
*Please call the Suspension Line at 857-368-8200 to check if hearings are available in this location. You can also call this number with any other hearing-related questions.
Removal Of The Ignition Interlock Device
Completion of Required Period
If you use the IID for the required period of time and become eligible to operate a vehicle without the IID, you must visit a Hearings Officer and obtain a letter stating that the IID may be removed. You must then schedule an appointment with the vendor and bring the letter with you.
Note: Upon completion of the required period, your BAIID will not be authorized for removal if you had any IID infractions or violations during the past six consecutive months.
If your license is suspended due to IID violations, the breathalyzer will be removed and you will not be allowed to operate a vehicle.
If, after receiving authorization from a Hearings Officer, you remove the IID early, your license will be suspended. You can get your license back as soon as you have the breathalyzer reinstalled (as long as your license is not suspended for any other reasons).
If you remove the BAIID early without authorization from a Hearings Officer, you will be scheduled for a hearing and your license may be revoked for 10 years.