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Drunk driving convictions and ignition interlock devices

When a person has been convicted of drunk driving or has had their license suspended as a result of driving with a blood alcohol concentration greater than .08 percent, Massachusetts law mandates they must have an ignition interlock device installed in order to get their driving privileges reinstated. A separate certified device must additionally be installed on every vehicle the person owns, leases or operates.

The required installation period for each vehicle is at least two years. After installation, the person must have the devices regularly inspected and maintained during the entire period.

If a person tampers with, removes or attempts to start the vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 percent or higher on two or more occasions, they may face a revocation of their license for an extended period of time or for life after a hearing. Following such a hearing, a person may appeal the decision of the registrar regarding the revocation of their license or additional suspension of it in the superior court of the trial court division. If the court then finds the registrar's decision was an abuse of discretion, the court may rescind the revocation of the license.

When a person has been convicted of DUI, he or she will face multiple consequences beyond the criminal penalties involved. Those who are accused of drunk driving have a right to defend against the charges and may benefit by consulting with a criminal defense attorney. An attorney may be able to evaluate a case in order to identify defenses and devise an appropriate strategy to defend against the allegations. If someone has already been convicted and has been accused of tampering with an installed ignition interlock device, he or she may also benefit by seeking out the assistance of an attorney who may be able to help with any appeal or administrative hearing.

Source: The General Court, "TITLE XIV Chapter 90 Section 241/2", November 17, 2014

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