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Ignition Interlock Department Increases License Suspensions

Inside the Registry of Motor Vehicle's there is a special department tasked with monitoring the Commonwealth's Ignition Interlock Program (IID). The Registry of Motor Vehicle's Ignition Interlock Department monitors interlock restricted operators compliance with the interlock program. Recently, the Interlock Department has significantly stepped up its enforcement. The Department has appeared to increase the number of threatening license suspension notices for ignition interlock violations. Most concerning of the increased enforcement is interlock license suspensions related to initial start interlock violations.  As it takes very little alcohol in a person's system to generate a failed start-up test.

A start test failure occurs when an operator blows into the ignition interlock device and the device detects alcohol above the BAC level of .020. If the machine detects a BAC equal to or below .020 the operators call will start without issue. In the event the device detects a BAC above .020 the car will not be permitted to start and several minutes later a new test will be issued. If after the second test the BAC is still above .020 the device will go into a temporary lockout and the car will not start.

Until recently the Interlock Department only issued indefinite suspension notices to operators who missed or failed a rolling re-test. However, the Interlock Department has made a questionable interpretation of G.L. c. 90 Sec. 24 1/2 to allow claim authority to impose a license suspension for an extended period to life for failed startup tests. However, such an interpretation is questionable at best.

The law says that a license suspension for an interlock violation can be for an extended period or for life. The Registry has decided that the proper “extended period” will be a 10-year license suspension for Ignition Interlock Violations. Prior to setting a specific suspension period the Interlock Department issues a intent to suspend notice. Once the notice is issued, operators have just ten (10) days before their license is suspended indefinitely.

Operators who wish to contest the suspension must appear in person before an Interlock Department Hearing Officer. The only location in the entire Commonwealth where impacted operators can request a hearing is  at 136 Blackstone Street, Boston, 3rd Floor. Whether you live in Boston, Pittsfield or on the Island's, if you receive an interlock violation suspension, you must appear at the Boston Registry to contest the indefinite license suspension.

If you receive an interlock violation suspension notice you have a right to have a lawyer at the hearing. Attorney Gilman has had significant success handling Interlock Violation Hearings. There are ways to avoid the ten year license suspension. The Interlock Department places the burden on the drivers.  If you are facing an interlock violation hearing, contact Attorney Gilman today.

From his Lunenburg office, attorney Matthew Gilman represents clients all over the state of Massachusetts. Fill out the form on this page or call the office today to connect with him and set up a free consultation. Matthew will discuss your case in the office or even in your own home and determine the best way forward for your unique situation.

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Gilman Law P.C. is committed to answering your questions about OUI-related offenses and license suspensions issues in Massachusetts.

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