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If a license is suspended after having an ignition interlock and I get arrested for driving, is it driving on a suspended?

Salem, MA |

My brother is being charged with driving without an ignition interlock . He had 2 IUDs over 12 years ago and a little over a year ago he received a license with the Z restriction requiring him to have the ignition interlock . A few months later he returned the ignition interlock because he no longer had access to the car it was installed in . He voluntarily returned it and the RM suspended his license . A few months ago he was arrested for driving . They are charging him for driving without an ignition interlock which is a felony carrying a mandatory 6 month jail sentence and up to 2 ½ years with a mandatory time served of 150 days . Heretics the question , because his license was suspended , wouldn't the charges need to be Driving on a Suspended and not Driving without the Interlock ?

Attorney Answers 3


He could be charged with both! His license was suspended for not having a vehicle with an interlock and he drove in a vehicle without an interlock. These, as you know, are very serious charges and he needs to retain an attorney as soon as possible to help him. Good luck.

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Driving without an interlock ignition device is a MUCH more serious offense than just driving with a suspended license. If he has two OUI convictions (or CWOFs) then he is required to install the IID on ANY car he operates. The fact that he returned the IID does not then give him the right to operate another car, unless he had his license reinstated by the RMV AND that car had the IID. He's looking at mandatory jail time for this felony, and needs to hiring a lawyer ASAP.

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Thank you for your response. I understand that these are VERY serious charges since they carry a 6 month to 2 ½ year sentence with 150 days mandatory. He is being held on the charge and I will have to retain a lawyer for him. But my question is, if he had never received the interlock device and had a suspended license for the 2 DUIs from 12 years ago, he would be charged with driving on a suspended, not driving without the interlock because he never received an interlock, even though if he had reinstated his license they would require it. In the affidavit he signed when receiving the interlock, he swore he understood that while having the Z restriction he would not drive a vehicle without the interlock, it also states he understood that if his license would be revoked or suspended if the interlock was uninstalled and that he was no longer participating in the program. So if his license was suspended and he was no longer participating in the program, could technically the charge be driving on a suspended? I understand that this may be a stretch, just wondering if this is technically driving without the Interlock or could he fight this and bring it to trial to pursue it being considered driving on a suspended, which is a much less serious crime. Thank you in advance.

Benjamin Urbelis

Benjamin Urbelis


No. If he never got the interlock, he would still be charged the exact same way- driving without an IID when one was required after 2 OUIs.


The fact that your brother drove without a valid license, coupled with the fact that his license was suspended because he returned his IID, warrant a charge of "driving w/o an IID". He was required to have an IID installed in any car he operated even when he had a valid license. He can now be charged with two crimes; driving with a suspended license and driving w/o an IID.

Consult with and hire a Criminal Defense Attorney ASAP. The attorney would need to review all pertinent facts and circumstances to come up with a meaningful defense (if any) and to represent him. Do not wait until the next court date to hire one as this puts the attorney at a disadvantage.

Hope this helps and best of luck.

Law Office of Ilir Kavaja
30 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

(617) 515-5545

The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.

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