The ignition interlock device (IID) provision of Melanie’s Law, G.L. c. 90 § 24 ½, went into effect on January 1, 2006. The IID is a device which is wired to the vehicle's ignition to measure alcohol contained in a person's expired breath. Ignition Interlcok restricted drivers must pay installation and monthly fees.When a driver blows into the device and the ethyl alcohol level exceeds .02 , the vehicle will not start. IIDs also require periodic rolling re-tests while the car is being driven. The Registry receives monthly readings, which it can take into account in considering administrative action against drivers.
The IID requirement of Melanie's Law does not implicate the double jeopardy clause because it regulates the conditions under which the driving privilege may be restored rather than punishing a driver for past offenses. It is not retroactive or "ex post facto," becasue an application for a hardship license or full reinstatement, which occur after Melanie's Law went into effect on January 1, 2006 is the event which triggers the ignition interlock restriction.
The Mass. Ignition Intelrock Law requires anyone with 2 or more DUI convictions or alcohol program assignments on his or her record, who is reinstating a license suspended for DUI or removing hardship hours to drive only those vehicles equipped with a functioning and certified ignition interlock device. These drivers will have a “Z” restricted license and this ignition interlock restriction will be in place during the entire length of any OUI hardship license and for a minimum of 2 years after getting the hardship hours removed from the license. If you are a Framingham Massachusetts resident who is legally required to have the ignition interlock device, there is absolutely no way around this requirement.
The Registry does not grant relief from the interlock requirement because of occupational, logistical, or any other similar reasons. Likewise, the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal enforces the ignition interlock law with a zero tolerance approach. The requirement to use an ignition interlock device should be a consideration of anyone who is facing a DUI charge in Framingham Massachusetts, even first offenders.
Many second offenders who are now ignition interlock required wish they had not plead out to their first offense.
Also, legislation is likely to be enacted which would require even first offenders to use ignition interlocks for at least 6 months.