If you are a DUI first offender in Massachusetts and you are seeking a hardship license, you may need to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. The Registry currently requires ignition interlocks for second and subsequent DUI offenders.
Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) and State Representative Timothy R. Whelan (R-Barnstable), have been advocating for interlock devices for first offenders for years. Both have been longtime proponents of legislation that would increase safety on the roadways. Representative Whelan is a former Massachusetts State Trooper, where he attained the rank of Sergeant and worked in the Department’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit, where he enforced laws involving Commercial Driver’s Licenses.
Under the budget amendment proposed by Senator Tarr, anyone who is granted a hardship license, and who has a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or greater, will need to have an ignition interlock, “T” restriction, placed on his or her driver’s license for the duration of the hardship license. The Registry currently requires mandatory ignition interlock usage for all repeat DUI offenders. Those multiple offenders are interlock-restricted during the duration of the hardship license and for at least 2 years after removal of the 12-hour hardship restriction.
The new law would require first offenders who have a BAC of .015 or more to use an ignition interlock device while the hardship license is in effect. This may encourage drivers to refuse to submit to a breath test, because the Registry would not be able to use the driver’s BAC to require the interlock.
It currently costs approximately $150.00 per month for the ignition interlock device and the costs are paid by the driver.
The Registry imposes 10-year license revocations for those who violate RMV interlock regulations by failing rolling-retests, missing service appointments, or not taking rolling retests when required. There are also license suspensions for tampering, disconnection, circumvention, and operating without the IID when it is legally required.
The Registry will not grant a hardship license or full-time license for anyone who is IID restricted until the customer has the interlock installed and provides proof of installation to a Hearing Officer.