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When must Boston residents use an ignition interlock device?

With 2020 on the horizon, many people in Massachusetts will be going to New Year's Eve parties. Most of these parties involve alcohol, and it is not unusual for motorists to find themselves being pulled over by police on suspicion of operating under the influence over the holiday season. Many OUI conviction consequences can have a major impact on a person's life, including the mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.

There are three circumstances in which a motorist convicted of OUI in Massachusetts must install an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle. One is if the motorist has been convicted of OUI two or more times but is eligible to receive a hardship license. The second is if the motorist has been convicted of OUI two or more times but is eligible to have his or her driver's license reinstated. The third is if the court orders the motorist to utilize an ignition interlock device for any reason.

Ignition interlock devices work like breath test instruments, and they can prevent a vehicle from starting if the motorist has a nominal amount of alcohol in his or her system. Before starting the vehicle, the motorist breaths into the device. If the device registers a minimal amount of alcohol in the motorist's breath, the device will prevent the vehicle from starting. In addition, motorists must submit to rolling retests, in which they must blow into the device while operating the vehicle.

It may seem unfair that an ignition interlock device can keep a motorist from driving simply because there is a registerable amount of alcohol in his or her system, especially if the motorist's blood alcohol concentration is below the legal limit. For this reason, those facing OUI charges will want to ensure they wage a strong defense against these charges, to avoid this strict and unwanted consequence of an OUI conviction.

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