Impaired driving

Learn more about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs

Drive sober or get pulled Over

To make Massachusetts roads safe for all users, the Highway Safety Division (HSD) provides funding for its biannual (August and December) "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over"  (DSOGPO) education campaign and enforcement mobilizations. The August 2017 campaign included the impairment that marijuana causes in drivers - and the increased impairment when alcohol and marijuana are combined. Massachusetts has looked to Colorado and Washington, states that have legalized marijuana, to anticipate the effect legalization will have on road safety. Both Colorado and Washington saw a dramatic increase in the number of marijuana-related fatal crashes after legalizing marijuana. 

HSD provides funding to the state police and more than 150 local police departments to conduct zero-tolerance high visibility impaired driving enforcement mobilizations in which patrols are conducted at high incident locations throughout the state. Complementing these efforts will be Drug Recognition Experts (DREs), officers trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) and sobriety checkpoints featuring Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobiles.

HSD's education campaigns feature television, online/social media, billboards, gas pump, and radio ads in both English and Spanish throughout Massachusetts. 

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Ignition interlock devices

In October 2005, the Commonwealth passed legislation known as "Melanie's Law" increasing the penalties for operating a motor vehicle under the influence (OUI) of alcohol or controlled substances. "Melanie's Law" requires that an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) shall be installed and used by drivers with 2 or more OUIs for alcohol or controlled substances. The IID must remain installed for at least two years after reinstatement of full operating privileges and can only be removed if the driver has successfully completed all requirements of the IID program as well as not have any lockouts or program violations during the six months prior to the request to remove the IID. 

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