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Melanie's Law, Ignition Interlock, Hardship License


Melanie's Law requires that an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) be used both by drivers with a hardship license and by drivers whose licenses are eligible for reinstatement.

An IID is a handheld breath-alcohol monitoring device (approximately the size of a cellphone) that is electronically connected to a vehicle’s ignition. Before starting your vehicle, the IID requires you to take and pass a breath test. It also requires you to take re-tests while you are operating the vehicle.

There are four possible scenarios which may require you to use an IID:

  1. If you have 2 or more OUI convictions (for alcohol or controlled
    substances) and are eligible for a hardship license,
    you must use the IID for the length of the hardship license. You
    must also use the IID for an additional 2 years after your license
    is reinstated.
  2. If you have 2 or more OUI convictions (for alcohol or controlled
    substances) and are eligible for license reinstatement,
    you must use the IID for 2 years after your license is reinstated.
    This 2-year period is in addition to any time you may have used
    the IID with a hardship license.
  3. If a court orders you to use the IID for any reason, you must
    use the IID for the length of the court order.
  4. If a court reinstates your license after a suspension of five years
    or more for a Chemical Test Refusal (pursuant to M.G..L. c.90
    s24(1)(f)(1) or s24N), the RMV will reinstate your license (as
    long as there is no other reason for your license to be suspended).
    In this case, an IID must be installed for no less than two years.

The IID must be used in every registered vehicle that you own, lease, or operate (including your employer’s vehicle). A restriction will be added to your license making it illegal to operate a vehicle that is not equipped with an IID.

Important: If you do not have the IID installed in your vehicle(s), you will not be eligible for a hardship license and you will not be allowed to have your license reinstated.

Read about the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Procedure


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