Will I have to have the Ignition Interlock device installed if convicted of OUI in Massachusetts?

Under Massachusetts drunk driving laws, only a second offense or higher requires the installation of the ignition interlock device upon conviction. There are legislative hearings to expand the ignition interlock requirement to those with a 1st Offense Conviction.

Counting the number of prior convictions: When considering the number of prior convictions, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor vehicles will consider the number of prior OUI convictions you have in your lifetime, regardless of how long ago the offense occurred,

  • The RMV considered DUI convictions from other States in determining the number of prior convictions.
  • Even an assignment to an Alcohol Education program could count as a prior conviction.
  • Disclose any arrest or alcohol related incident to your lawyer so you can be advised of the correct potential penalties and license consequences.

If a plea agreement or conviction on an second offense OUI charge is accepted, an individual will have to have the ignition interlock device installed prior to reinstatement of their license. On a typical second offense DUI, the license loss will be 2 years with the ability to have a hardship license within one year.

How Long does the Interlock Device Remain After a Conviction?

An individual convicted of a second offense, in addition to having the ignition interlock device installed during the period of reinstatement, will also have the interlock maintained in their vehicle for a period of three years.

  • Special Consideration if only one other DUI conviction more than 10 years ago.

Another situation where the ignition interlock is required is when someone accepts a plea on a second offense OUI, but the prior offense is more than 10 years from the date of the new convictions for drunk driving. In this situation a person may be able to get a hard ship license immediately under what is known as the Cahill disposition.

Under the Cahill disposition, an individual charged with the second offense can have their case treated as a first offense because the prior conviction is so far removed from the new arrest. However, the individual must have the ignition interlock installed in their vehicle for the period of the hardship, plus three years.

  • What penalties must the Court impose to qualify as a Cahill or second change first offender treatment?

Under the Cahill disposition, the court must treat the second offense as a first offense by imposing the continuance finding of guilty and the 24D alcohol education program. If the court imposes the second offense disposition, such as the 14 day impatient program, then the registry of motor vehicles will impose the second offense license loss penalties. It is only when the court treats the disposition as a first offense that the registry court is required by law to impose a 45 day loss of license, with the requirement of installing the ignition interlock as a condition of reinstatement.