How to use an ignition interlock device

Ignition interlock devices may be required in order to drive again after being convicted of Operating Under the Influence offenses in Massachusetts.

The consequences of an OUI conviction in Massachusetts may include many things and have an impact on drivers for a long time. In addition to fines or even potential time in jail, people may lose the right to drive for some period.

One of the ways that driving privileges may be reinstated is by the installation and use of ignition interlock devices. Therefore, it is important for anyone who has been arrested and charged with an OUI to understand how IIDs actually work.

What does an ignition interlock device do?

As explained by LifeSafer, a manufacturer of ignition interlock devices, an IID keeps a vehicle ignition locked until a breath test is passed. Every single time a driver wants to operate a vehicle with an IID installed in it, a breath test is required. If the test results indicate a level of alcohol above a predetermined threshold, the ignition will not be allowed to be started.

What happens when I get gas?

Because a vehicle needs to be turned off when refueling, drivers must be prepared to take breath tests again after getting gas before restarting vehicles.

What happens when my car needs service?

Mechanics or others who work on vehicles installed with IIDs may need to take tests as well in order to start ignitions. Contacting the manufacturer of the device is important prior to any service being provided.

Can other things interfere with accurate readings?

IIDs are designed to detect alcohol in a person's breath but other substances may contain trace amounts of alcohol or be read as such by the devices. For this reason, drivers should be careful not to attempt to take a test too soon after brushing their teeth, for example, as many toothpastes can interfere with IIDs. Eating foods or drinking beverages even without alcohol may also lead to failed results to allowing time before taking tests is wise.

Who must use IIDs in Massachusetts?

According to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, even a first OUI conviction can result in a driver's license suspension lasting 12 months. During this time, it may be possible for a person to get a special hardship license in order to drive to and from work or other limited locations. The use of an IID may be required during this time. IIDs may also be required for some time after a suspension period is over.

Learning about the various ramifications of an OUI offense is important after an arrest. This is just one of the reasons that makes it important to work with an experienced attorney when facing drunk driving charges in Massachusetts.