As part of drunk driving charges in Massachusetts, an accused driver may be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. For that reason, accused drivers should be aware of the requirements this will place on them, how ignition interlock devices work and how to protect themselves from drunk driving charges.
Who has to install an ignition interlock device?
Accused drivers who have multiple drunk driving offenses may be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. Accused drivers may wonder how they work:
- Once an ignition interlock device has been placed on the driver’s vehicle, drivers will need to turn on the ignition of the vehicle and wait for the instructions displayed by the ignition interlock device. It will typically require them to take an initial breath alcohol test.
- The driver will then need to blow into the ignition interlock device until they have provided an acceptable breath alcohol test sample. If the driver passes the breath alcohol test, the ignition interlock device will allow them to start the vehicle’s ignition.
Requirements for ignition interlock devices
There are several requirements for an ignition interlock device that are placed on accused drivers including:
- Installation of the device – the accused driver must schedule an installation appointment for the device.
- Payment – the accused driver is typically required to pay for the installation of the device and all required leasing and maintenance fees for the device.
- Maintenance visits – the accused driver typically must return to the service provider for service visits every 25–30 days so that the device receives proper maintenance and data uploads.
- Proper usage – the accused driver is required to follow all rules and guidelines for proper use of the device and must never tamper with the device or try to circumvent it.
The cost of drunk driving charges, including ignition interlock devices, can be high on many levels for accused drivers who may face financial, personal and professional costs associated with drunk driving charges. Accused drivers have the right to defend against those charges and should be familiar with the legal protections available to them when accused of driving under the influence.