Massachusetts Bill Would Require Ignition Devices for Repeat DUIs

A bill under consideration in the Massachusetts legislature would stiffen penalties for repeat drunk-driving offenders, the Boston Globe reported June 15.

Under the bill, which is currently in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, repeat DUI offienders would be required to install ignition-locking devices in their cars at their own expense. The device prevents the car from starting unless the user passes a breath-analysis test. Additional readings are required during the trip to ensure the driver hasn’t taken a drink.

Currently, the devices are only required for individuals operating under conditional licenses.

The bill also would tighten the standards for hardship licenses. Currently, repeat offenders are eligible for a hardship license after one month. The bill would increase the standard to a minimum of one year.

In addition, the legislation would extend the period of mandatory license suspension for DUI offenses from one year to 18 months.

“Massachusetts was one of the most lenient states in the country a year ago,” said Rep. James Vallee, (D-Franklin). “After we pass this, we will have one of the toughest drunk-driving statutes.”