On October 28, 2005, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed new legislation known as "Melanie’s Law" increasing the penalties for operating a motor vehicle Under the Influence (OUI) of Alcohol or Controlled Substances. This change helped to usher in new and enhanced periods of license suspension or revocation and further established the Commonwealth’s Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Program. The IID program requires multiple OUI offenders to install an IID in their vehicle for a prescribed period of time.
The IID program is managed by the Ignition Interlock Department of the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The links below define the rules and regulations that govern the IID program.
Melanie's Law requires that an IID be installed and used by drivers with a conditional "hardship" driver's license and by those operator's whose driver's licenses are eligible for reinstatement following completion of the OUI license suspension or revocation periods. Any operator meeting the requirements for hardship on the OUI offense will be issued a conditional twelve hour/day hardship license with the "HZ" license restriction. Any operators seeking reinstatement after completion of the OUI license suspension or revocation periods will receive a driver's license with the "Z" license restriction. The "HZ" and "Z" license restrictions stand for Massachusetts' "Zero-Tolerance Policy" for drunk driving and assist law enforcement officials in identifying operators with an IID. The IID must remain installed throughout the operator's conditional hardship license period plus two years after reinstatement of full operating privileges.
The IID regulations found at 540 CMR 25.00 were created to establish guidelines for the certification, installation, use and maintenance of the IID. Since the IID’s program inception, more than 17,000 operators have had the devices installed. Throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there are seven approved vendors that offer installation and maintenance of the IID at several convenient service provider locations.
The Registrar of Motor Vehicles formed the Drunk Driving Advisory Committee to review and discuss current RMV regulations, policies and procedures as they relate to the administration of laws governing drunk driving. The Drunk Driving Advisory Committee consists of representatives from the Executive Office of Public Safety, Governor’s Highway Safety Bureau, Department of Public Health, RMV, law enforcement and other interested parties.