Court: You can't be convicted of driving in violation of a license restriction if your license has already been revoked
So this guy out in the Berkshires gets his license taken away after his second OUI conviction, appeals 10 years later to get it reinstated, to which the state agrees on condition he install one of those in-dash breath-tester gizmos, which he installs, only then he takes it out and gets caught and has his license taken away.
And then, two years later, he's stopped again and charged with violating the "ignition interlock device" condition and is convicted on that charge.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court today threw out that conviction, agreeing with Sean Pettit that he should never have gone to trial for violating a license restriction when he no longer had a license. Yeah, that kind of violates the intent of Melanie's Law to try to reduce the number of drunks on the roads, but it's up to the legislature to fix the inconsistency if it wants to crack down on repeat drunk drivers this way, the court writes:
The Commonwealth's contention that the defendant held a license subject to an IID restriction is plainly untenable. Under that view, the defendant would have been authorized to operate a motor vehicle with a functioning IID even though his license to operate had been revoked entirely. Put another way, a license simply cannot be both restricted and revoked at the same time.
The Commonwealth protests that its proffered construction must be upheld in order to avoid an absurd result. ... Though we acknowledge the result, we note that a similar anomaly applies to a defendant whose license is revoked after conviction of operating under the influence but who never seeks reinstatement of his license under G.L. c. 90, § 241/2, and instead simply continues to operate a motor vehicle without a valid license. To the extent that the policy objective the Legislature sought to advance by the enactment of Melanie's Law would be served more effectively by imposing enhanced penalties on persons who operate a motor vehicle after suspension or revocation of their license by reason of the unauthorized removal of a required IID, the authority to modify the statute to accomplish that goal is with the Legislature rather than with us.