Sobriety checkpoints: A deterrent to driving while impaired?
In 2015, Alcohol-impaired drivers caused over 10,000 traffic fatalities in the United States, making up 20% of all traffic fatalities (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). One common practice to help deter the incidence of drunk driving is sobriety checkpoints. Currently, 38 states and the District of Columbia authorize sobriety checkpoints (NHTSA).
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a sobriety checkpoint is held at a predetermined location at which law enforcement officers stop vehicles to check whether the driver is impaired. They may stop every vehicle or stop vehicles at a set interval.
Data suggests that sobriety checkpoints act as a deterrent to driving after drinking by increasing the perceived risk of arrest. The threat of a checkpoint helps to reduce the drivers’ confidence that they can avoid getting caught for driving while intoxicated. The CDC identified that checkpoints can help reduce alcohol-related crashes and fatalities by 18%-24%.
Alcohol-impaired driving and perceived risks of legal consequences
This month, an article entitled, “Alcohol-Impaired Driving and Perceived Risks of Legal Consequences” was published and revealed that perception of risk was a key factor in individuals deciding whether or not to drink and drive. The researchers analyzed data collected from drivers, the police and defense attorneys specializing in driving while impaired (DWI) cases from eight different cities in the United States.
First, researchers asked individuals whether sobriety checkpoints or legal penalties following drunk driving were more frightening. Next, researchers asked individuals if there was an increase in either checkpoints or tougher legal penalties, which would help deter them from driving under the influence.
The results of the research discussed above suggest that checkpoints are an effective deterrent for individuals who drink and drive. This data helps to support Intoxalock’s belief that ignition interlock devices should be required for all drunk driving offenders. Regardless of the laws, research is consistent in showing that license suspensions are extremely ineffective in preventing people from continuing to drive. As revealed in this study, people will still continue to take chances unless there are additional measures such as ignition interlocks and police checkpoints stopping them.
For more information or to read the full article, click here.
Annie’s Law will help save lives in Ohio
Wednesday, January 4, 2017 was a monumental day for Ohio residents. This was the day that a hard fought 3.5-year battle to strengthen drunk driving laws was finally won. On this day, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill, referred to as Annie’s Law, which will work to decrease drunk driving. This law will undoubtedly save lives.
It started on July 4, 2013. 36-year-old Ohio attorney Annie Rooney’s SUV was struck by a drunk driver while she was heading home from borrowing a friend’s bike for an upcoming race. The driver was a repeat drunk driving offender and Annie was killed in the crash. Rooney’s family, devastated by the loss of their sister, daughter and friend, began advocating for stronger drunk driving laws immediately following her death.
They centered their efforts around increasing the use of ignition interlock devices as a way to help prevent repeat OVI offenders from getting back on the road while intoxicated. Research is consistent in showing a direct correlation between ignition interlock devices and a decrease in alcohol-related traffic fatalities. According to MADD, states that require ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenders have seen reductions in drunken driving deaths of up to 50%.
Unfortunately, the first attempt to pass the bill failed. U.S. Rep. Gary Sherer, co-sponsor of the Bill, worked tirelessly to negotiate tweaks to get the Bill passed.
“I didn’t know Annie personally, but through her friends and her wonderful family, I feel as if I do,” Scherer said in an article published by the Chillicothe Gazette. “I am pleased to help them make something positive come out of Annie’s tragedy. This law will save lives, and what a tribute to the life of Annie Rooney that is.”
The new law will take effect April 4th and will incentivize judges and offenders to use ignition interlock devices after all drunk driving convictions by allowing unlimited driving privileges with the installation of one in their vehicle. In addition, the time period that is examined for additional penalties for repeat offenders will be increased from six years to ten.
The law will also allow judges to cut suspension periods in half if they order their defendant to install an ignition interlock device following their conviction.
Intoxalock is proud to support Annie’s Law and looks forward to working to make Ohio roads safer from drunk drivers. With over 50 locations in Ohio, more than any other provider, Intoxalock will help make the interlock process easy and convenient for all Ohio residents. To speak to a representative about the OVI process in Ohio and to learn more about how Intoxalock can help, call us today at (855) 531-5244.
Intoxalock 2016: A year in review
2016 was a monumental year for Intoxalock. Lives were saved. Laws were strengthened. Roads became safer. While there is still a lot of progress to be made in 2017, we’d like to take some time to reflect on successes of 2016.
100,000 customers served
Intoxalock helped over 100,000 customers to regain driving privileges after alcohol-related traffic offenses this year. We understand that a drunk driving conviction can happen to anyone. We are here to help customers step-by-step through the process. Our state-specific agents are much more than just sales agents. They are experts in the DUI, DWI and OWI processes in each state and work tirelessly to help customers understand how to move forward after a setback.
Over 1,900 locations
Intoxalock is committed to not only making the interlock process easy and affordable but also to making it convenient. With over 1,900 installation locations nationwide, more than any other ignition interlock provider, we are able to locate an installer close to our customers’ home or work. In addition, we are constantly adding mobile installers in areas that allow that type of service. This provides the additional option of an installer traveling to the customer instead of the customer traveling to the installer.
As leaders in technology, Intoxalock launched an exciting on-site calibration process this year. With this new technology, Intoxalock is able to quickly and reliably perform calibrations, download logs and process repairs at service center locations, enabling more flexibility for the customer. The majority of Intoxalock customers are now able to receive calibration at the service center with the remainder of locations being completed in early 2017.
Research is consistent in showing a direct correlation between a decrease in alcohol-related traffic deaths when stronger ignition interlock laws are implemented. Notable changes in 2016 include first-time offenders now being required to install interlocks with the passage of legislation in Pennsylvania and Vermont as well as Noah’s Law in Maryland and Annie’s Law in Ohio. All told, 2016 was a record year with 17 ignition interlock laws passing and being signed into law. The biggest of all was California expanding their 4-county first offender pilot program in 2019 to a statewide application.
Intoxalock remains committed to one mission: saving lives. 2017 will be another busy year fighting the battle against drunk driving and we hope to make as much progress as we did in 2016.
New bill would make it a felony nationwide to drunk drive with a child in the car
Congresswoman Kathleen Rice has proposed a National version of Leandra’s Law, (also referred to as The Child Passenger Protection Act), a law that was enacted on December 18th, 2009 in New York, which makes it a felony to drive under the influence (DUI) with a child (under the age of 15) in your vehicle.
Leandra Rosado, 11, was killed while on her way to a slumber party on October 11th, 2009. She was one of seven children in the vehicle that was being driven by an intoxicated family friend. After her death, her father, Lenny Rosado, tirelessly lobbied and pushed for tougher laws and penalties to be passed in the state.
Now, seven years since the enacting of Leandra’s law in New York State, Congresswoman Rice has proposed a National version of the law.
Rice’s proposed law requires states to enact and enforce the following penalties with regard to an individual who drives under the influence by alcohol or drugs with a child in the vehicle:
- The individual can be charged with a felony subject to up to four years imprisonment;
- Will require the individual, if convicted, to install and maintain an ignition interlock system (IID) on any car the individual owns or operates
- Will suspend the individual’s state driver’s license during the course of prosecution, unless the individual installs and maintains an ignition interlock system (IID)
- The individual will have to undergo an alcohol abuse, substance abuse or mental health assessment. If the assessment indicates the need for treatment, authorizes the appropriate court or monitoring agency to require the individual to undergo treatment as part of the individual’s sentence or as a condition for reissuance of the individual’s driver’s license
- Will require authorities to file a report with the appropriate State Register of child abuse if the individual is the parent, guardian or custodian of the child passenger, or is in any way legally responsible for the child passenger.
If passed, starting in Fiscal Year 2019, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation would withhold federal funding to states who do not comply with the law.
According to Rice, “While most states have taken some action to crack down on those who commit this crime, Leandra’s Law in New York is the toughest and most comprehensive child endangerment law in the country, and this bill will make it the national standard.”
Congressman Rice plans to present the bill once Congress reconvenes next month.
Avoid a DUI this holiday season [infographic]
The holiday season is often accompanied by a lot of food, time spent traveling and an increased consumption of alcohol. With that comes an increase in the number of drunk driving offenses in the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Intoxalock has compiled some tips and resources to help you avoid drinking and driving this holiday season.
- Plan ahead. Know how much you plan on drinking over a set number of hours and have a plan to get home safely.
- Use a ridesharing service or taxi to transport you home. There are many applications that help drinkers “find a ride.”
- Politely decline alcohol if you plan to drive.
- Look out for others. Help impaired people around you make the safe choice to not drink and drive.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 700 people are injured or killed in drunk driving crashes each year during the holiday season (the time spanning between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day). Take the steps necessary to make the roads a safer place for everybody.
Ohio’s all offender law heads to Governor’s desk
After a long wait, Ohio is finally taking steps to strengthen drunk driving laws. Yesterday, the Ohio Senate passed a law requiring ignition interlock devices for all convicted drunk driving offenders (OVI). Lawmakers named the bill “Annie’s Law” in memory of Annie Rooney, a 36-year-old Ohio woman, who died in a drunk driving crash in 2013. Rooney was struck on the 4th of July by a repeat drunk driving offender with a blood alcohol content (BAC) more than twice the legal limit.
“This is not a rare occurrence,” Walt Rooney, Annie’s brother said. “These are 100 percent preventable crimes and they’re killing 400 to 500 Ohioans every single year.” (wlwt.com)
The bill is now with Ohio Governor John Kasich. Gov. Kasich is scheduled to sign the bill into law by the end of this year.
“This is a public health policy. This isn’t shaming. This isn’t punitive,” Rooney said. “This is to protect all of us, who are driving to the store, driving our kids to school and want the person in the lane opposite you not to be drunk.”
Prior to Annie’s Law, OVI offenders had their driver’s license suspended. Research is consistent in showing that 50-75% of convicted drunk drivers on a suspended license continue driving anyways. (MADD)
Annie’s Law will allow drunk driving offenders to regain driving privileges immediately following the installation of an ignition interlock device. Currently, 26 states require ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenders.
States requiring ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenders have seen dramatic decreases in drunk driving deaths when compared to the national average. Read more about the effectiveness of ignition interlock devices.
Advanced technology adds value in more than one way
Ignition interlock device technology is constantly evolving to make interlocks even more effective. As it stands, ignition interlock devices are the only mechanism in place that prevents somebody from starting their vehicle while intoxicated. To make interlocks even more effective, many states utilize advanced technology ignition interlock devices. Currently, about half of all states either require or recommend advanced technology features that might include a camera, GPS tracking and real-time reporting.
By installing a camera unit with the device, there’s verification that the person providing the breath sample is the driver of the vehicle. In Washington, an ignition interlock device with an installed camera actually caught the man who stole a vehicle, according to a news source.
The thief was caught after a stolen vehicle was recovered in Renton, WA. The owner of the stolen vehicle was required to install an ignition interlock device and when police found the vehicle, it was discovered that the ignition interlock device captured photos of the suspect blowing breath samples into the device to start the vehicle. The suspect was instantly identified and has a long list of previous car thefts.
For the most effective ignition interlock program, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recommends that all states require advanced technology devices that will allow for compliance-based removal. Advanced technology gives additional insight into the activity logged with the device. With real-time reporting, monitoring authorities are able to instantly review the logs of their clients. By requiring a period of compliance as a condition that must be met before the device is removed, the probability of the interlock user re-offending will decrease.
All Intoxalock representatives are trained to help you fulfill your ignition interlock requirements with the best device for your situation. Intoxalock devices are certified to meet even the most rigorous requirements in almost all states. Call us today at (855) 531-5244 to review your state’s requirements and to regain driving privileges with an ignition interlock device.
3 things to expect after a drunk driving conviction
Following a drunk driving conviction, or DUI, it’s probably assumed that there will be some type of fine or fee and that you may temporarily lose driving privileges. Beyond that, the repercussions may be unknown. In reality, a drunk driving conviction usually brings with it a list of expenses and additional requirements and provisions.
Increased auto insurance rates
In most cases, you will be required to obtain an SR-22 policy following a drunk driving conviction. This is a certificate that proves that you carry liability insurance. While the cost of the actual SR-22 certificate is minimal, it will most likely raise your insurance rates overall. An SR-22 is a red flag to most insurance companies and will likely classify you as a high-risk driver. In addition, not all insurance companies will continue to insure you after a DUI so your options may be limited.
Ignition interlock device
All states have laws supporting or requiring the use of an ignition interlock device following a drunk driving conviction. Over half of states require an ignition interlock device for all first-time DUI offenses. Most other states require them for second and consecutive offenses and for extreme first offenses. Costs associated with the ignition interlock device could include a monthly lease fee, installation and de-installation costs and monthly maintenance fees. In addition, you may be charged if your device goes into a lockout status due to not servicing it in time or from providing too many failed breath samples.
In most states, impaired driving is a criminal offense that will probably require you to go to court. While it is possible to do it alone, you will probably want to hire an attorney that specializes in DUI to help you through the process. The DUI process can be complicated and a skilled attorney will help to make sure you complete all requirements needed to regain your full license as quick as possible. In addition, an attorney can help identify if there are any alternate measures that may be an option, such as a prolonged period with an ignition interlock device in exchange for license suspension.
The process to regain your license after a drunk driving incident can be complicated and expensive. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of all the possible repercussions that could follow when they make the decision to drink and drive. By bringing awareness to the hidden dangers, seemingly never-ending fees and complicated steps required following a DUI, hopefully more people will choose to separate drinking from driving. The cost of a taxi or an Uber ride is minuscule when looking at what a DUI could cost.
If you are a DUI attorney, a monitoring authority or a judge and would like to stay connected with Intoxalock, please contact us at Partners@Intoxalock.com to be added to our affiliate communications.
Intoxalock ignition interlock devices exclusive provider of battery-saving Sleep Mode
It’s that time of year again, with temperatures cooling down it’s important to start thinking about winter vehicle maintenance and preparation. At Intoxalock, we provide an exclusive sleep mode feature that allows you to save battery life, even during the winter. While an ignition interlock device is not something users normally consider when thinking about protecting their vehicle, Intoxalock continues to put the customer first in their device technology.
Like all car accessories, ignition interlock devices are powered from your car’s battery. Things like multiple car accessories, car make and model and cold temperatures can cause added dependence on your car battery.
It is important for all drivers to check-up on their battery life and overall vehicle maintenance regularly, especially in harsher winter conditions. To conserve battery life, our Intoxalock ignition interlock devices can be set to Sleep Mode which turns off the internal heaters in your device. This special feature is one that puts Intoxalock above other breathalyzer devices when it comes to caring for and about customers’ personal vehicles.
California Governor Brown praised for signing ignition interlock bill
Announced yesterday, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed into existing law legislation (SB 1046), a change that extends current legislation around the use of ignition interlock devices like Intoxalock to prevent drunk driving. Senate Bill 1046 is the result of a four-year effort by the Governor and Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, to expand a statewide IID policy in place in California.
Under current law, DUI offenders get their license suspended as a mandatory suspension before they can apply for a restricted license. The new law extends the current IID pilot program in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties for two more years, and then enhances and expands the program statewide beginning January 1, 2019. The changes brought by SB 1046 will allow full driving privileges with the use of an IID. The penalty starts at 6 months of IID use for first time offenders, one year for the second and two plus years for subsequent offenses.
An ignition interlock device or IID is a breathalyzer that is installed in vehicles to prevent drinking and driving. It is made up of a mouthpiece, a handheld unit and a cord that attaches to the vehicle’s ignition system. Users are required to blow into the mouthpiece to test their Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) before starting their car. If their BrAC is above your state’s limit, the vehicle will not start until the user submits a breath sample that no longer detects alcohol.
The Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers (CIIM) advocated for approving the bill on behalf of public safety and DUI offenders in order to stop drunk driving. In fact, a California Department of Motor Vehicles report issued in June 2016 found that IIDs are 70 percent more effective than license suspension in preventing repeat DUI offenses.
“This new law is a positive step forward to help slow the revolving door of unlicensed, uninsured drunk drivers who continue driving at the public’s peril,” said David Kelly, Executive Director of CIIM.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) issued a report this year that found that IID providers like Intoxalock have prevented more than 1 million drinking-and-driving attempts since 2010 in the four counties participating in California’s current pilot program.
California residents and advocates alike are pleased with the legislative decision as a positive step forward toward keeping the roads safer.
Filed Under: Drunk Driving