Ignition Interlock Device Requirements in Massachusetts

Melanie’s Law requires a driver whose license was suspended due to a drug or alcohol program assignment or an OUI conviction to install an IID if his driving history included a prior assignment or conviction at the time he or she applied for reinstatement. When someone who has had his driver’s license suspended for an OUI conviction, or an assignment to an alcohol education program, applies for a new license or to have his license or right to operate restored, and he has had a previous OUI conviction or assignment, the new or restored license may only be issued upon the condition that the driver have an ignition interlock device installed on every motor vehicle he owns, operates or leases for a period of two years. This requirement, contained in amendments to the OUI laws and enacted as part of “Melanie’s Law,” was made effective on January 1, 2006. As long as the event triggering the imposition of the IID requirement, that is, the application for a new or reinstated license, takes place after January 1, 2006, then Melanie’s Law applies prospectively and can permissibly take into account events occurring prior to its effective date, i.e., the previous convictions, assignments, and suspensions.

Melanie’s law conditions reinstatement of a driver’s upon the driver satisfying the procedures and agreements attendant upon installation of the IID. Drivers may also have to take written and road tests, depending on the length of the DUI license suspension or revocation. The driver’s license suspension continues to operate and is not lifted until the OUI offender performs all of the required actions to lift the suspension, including ignition interlock device installation for second or subsequent drunk driving offenders.