Ma Operating with a Suspended License - Download as DOC

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					FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                 CONTACT:
October 29, 2008                                       Ann Dufresne
                                                       617-973-7014
                                        Ann.Dufresne@EOT.State.MA.US


               RMV Shows Melanie’s Law Successful
             in Getting More Drunk Drivers Off the Road

 (Boston, MA)- Registrar Rachel Kaprielian today released new data which
shows that in the three years since Melanie’s Law was enacted, nearly 20%
more suspected drunk drivers are being arrested while fewer of those charged
are refusing to take the breathalyzer test.

The anniversary report also indicates that 553 drivers convicted of two or more
OUI violations successfully completed the RMV’s ignition interlock program.
To date, only two people who finished the program have been re-arrested on
OUI charges and face prosecution. Nearly 4,000 offenders remain in the
program which electronically monitors their blood alcohol level through a
handheld device connected to the vehicle ignition.

“These statistics give us good reason to celebrate the third anniversary of
Melanie’s Law,” said Registrar Kaprielian. “The tougher penalties and
administrative sanctions are helping to take more drunk drivers off our
roadways. The interlock monitoring devices help ensure that repeat offenders
who have been granted hardship licenses are not driving after drinking.”

The RMV set up the ignition interlock program—one of the main directives of
Melanie’s Law--in January of 2006. The goal was to target any driver convicted
of a second or subsequent OUI offense and keep them from getting behind the
wheel.



        TEN PARK PLAZA, ROOM 3170, BOSTON, MA 02116-3969  WWW.MASS.GOV/RMV
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The RMV changed its eligibility for hardship licenses, requiring repeat
offenders to present proof they do not have access to public transportation to
get to work or school. Drivers who are granted a hardship license or have
licenses eligible for reinstatement are required to use the ignition interlock
devise (IID) on any vehicle they may use for a mandatory minimum of two
years. The IID prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver fails the initial
breath test with a blood alcohol concentration of greater than .02. Drivers are
also subject to random rolling retests. Every 30 days the driver must return to
the IID vendor which then uploads the data collected by the device and
forwards it to the RMV which monitors each program participant.

“We know that increasing penalties and license suspensions alone isn’t going to
deter every motorist from driving drunk,” said Registrar Kaprielian. “Melanie’s
Law and the IID program reduce the gamble a repeat offender may take in
driving with a suspended license while helping protect the public with an
effective preventative system against driving drunk.”

Melanie’s Law also established several new offenses and increased penalties for
anyone arrested for OUI while operating a vehicle with a suspended license
under a previous OUI violation. It is also illegal for anyone to allow an IID
restricted driver to operate a vehicle not equipped with the device.

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