The state of Massachusetts takes operating a motor vehicle under the influence (OUI) very seriously. That means drivers face harsh penalties, including the installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.
While these devices provide you the ability to drive during license suspension, they also have some essential requirements. Mass.gov explains what drivers should know about ignition interlock devices.
What is the ignition interlock device program?
Both first-time and multiple offenders may receive an ignition interlock device after conviction. This occurs when a driver receives a “hardship license”, which allows the driver to operate a motor vehicle for certain purposes, such as work or to receive medical treatment. During license suspension, they can still operate their vehicle provided they use an ignition interlock device.
What are the motorist requirements upon receiving a hardship license?
Motorists must schedule the installation and attend maintenance appointments as needed. You must also ensure that you follow all rules and regulations regarding the operation of the device, testing frequency, and any restrictions. You are also responsible for any fees associated with the operation, maintenance, or administration of the device.
How does the device work?
The vehicle starts as normal by turning the key in the ignition. The display will turn on and provide instructions on how to proceed. You will provide a breath test similar to the ones given during OUI stops. You will blow into the device to determine your current blood alcohol concentration. If you are over .02%, the vehicle will not start, and you must wait to test again.
Once you start the vehicle, you must provide random re-tests as prompted. In this case, you have five minutes to take the test, which allows you to pull over in a safe area to provide a breath sample.