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Blackout Wednesday: Drive Safe this Thanksgiving Weekend

Posted on November 20th, 2017 / By Eliza Hamilton-Poore

Some holidays are known for binge drinking – St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day, and Memorial Day all come to mind, but a new one is on the rise. Blackout Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, has become a favorite holiday for alcohol consumption.

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

NHTSA: Blackout Wednesday
With college students coming back for the holiday and working adults having the next day off, Thanksgiving Eve is a night of reunions and celebration. Unfortunately, the increase in binge drinking has also led to a rise in drunk driving and drunk driving deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, in the past five years over 800 people have died in drunk driving crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. That’s one-third of the total number of fatalities over the holiday.

This Thanksgiving holiday period, remember to drink responsibly. Take the time to line up a designated driver, order a cab or rideshare, or just walk. Be safe and make it to Thanksgiving dinner.

Support Sober Driving

Looking for ways to help keep the roads safe this Thanksgiving? Support NHTSA’s awareness initiative by posting with the hashtags #ThanksgivingEve and #DriveSober.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving
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How DUI checkpoints work to keep you safe

Posted on October 23rd, 2017 / By Matthew Kenny

Intoxalock - DUI CheckpointsAs the year winds down and we find ourselves in the midst of the busiest holidays for traveling, we will likely see a variety of different sobriety checkpoints being performed across the nation. These checkpoints are performed in predetermined locations and allow law enforcement officers to stop vehicles to check whether drivers are impaired.

Effectiveness of checkpoints

Though not performed in every state of the United States, only 38 states currently conduct them, these checkpoints have been proven to decrease alcohol-related injuries and property damage, saving lives and money in various communities nationwide. In 2002, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention performed a systemic review of 11 sobriety checkpoint studies and quantified that these checkpoints reduce alcohol-related injuries and property damage by about 20 percent. More recently, in 2011, a study was performed that examined the exact effectiveness of 22 DUI checkpoints orchestrated over one year in 2011. The conclusion of this study found that the rate of impaired collisions in post-checkpoint periods was about 19 percent less than in the pre-checkpoint periods. Studies like the two referenced above are just two exemplars of the boon provided by these checkpoints.

Even the costs associated with these checkpoints hold positive returns to local communities. As mentioned in this sobriety checkpoint fact sheet released by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), research has shown that for every dollar invested in checkpoints, these communities save between $6 and $23 in costs from alcohol-related crashes.

With all the benefits these checkpoints provide, whether it be reducing driving impairment rates or saving money in alcohol-related crashes, it is hard to find a reason against performing DUI checkpoints in local communities. If you end up going through a DUI checkpoint in your immediate area and are asked to pull your vehicle over for inspection, remember all the positives listed above that they provide and how much safer the roads in that area are because of them.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, Ignition Interlock Devices

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Teen Driver Safety Week: Tips to keep your teen driver safe

Posted on October 17th, 2017 / By Eliza Hamilton-Poore

Teen driving safety | IntoxalockThis week, October 15-21, is Teen Driver Safety Week. For teen drivers, learning to drive safely and responsibly can be a challenge. Unfortunately, car accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for 15 to 18-year-olds in the United States with 1,972 teen drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2015, and 99,000 teen drivers injured that same year.

For those of you with young drivers at home or in the family, there are steps that can be taken to prepare them for the responsibilities of the road.

Remind your teen to always wear a seatbelt. “In 2015, a total of 531 passengers died in passenger vehicles driven by teen drivers. And 58 percent of those passengers were NOT wearing their seatbelts at the time of the fatal crash,” according to the United States Department of Transportation. Teens learn by example. Be sure to wear your own seatbelt to demonstrate proper driving a passenger safety measures. Your teen being safe can influence their peers to be responsible as well. Regrettably, just as they are influenced to be responsible by one another, they also tend to make poor decisions based on each other’s actions. “84 percent of cases when the teen driver was unbuckled, the passengers were also unbuckled,” United States Department of Transportation. Remind your young driver to be safe for themselves and to be an example for their friends.

Teen impaired and distracted driving

Talk to your teen about the hazards of driving while impaired can also help reduce accidents. In 2015 one out of five teen drivers involved in a fatal accident had been drinking. Prescription and illegal drugs can also impair their driving. If alcohol use is an issue with your teen, you may consider getting a voluntary ignition interlock device for their vehicle. This device would make it impossible for them to start the vehicle if they have any alcohol in their system.

Speeding is another big issue when it comes to teen driver safety. 29% of all teen drivers involved in deadly crashes were speeding at the time of the accident.

With demands from school, work, social life, and athletic teams, it can be hard for a teenager to get enough sleep. Drowsy driving has the potential to be just as dangerous as impaired driving. Check-in with your young driver to make sure they are getting enough rest before they get behind the wheel.

And finally, 10 percent of young drivers involved in a fatal crash were distracted at the time of the crash. Be firm with them. Remind them to not text or do anything else that takes their attention away from the road while driving.

By taking these steps, we can hope for a safer future for our teens.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving

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Tennessee father sues county after repeat drunk driving offender kills his son

Posted on September 22nd, 2017 / By Eliza Hamilton-Poore

Tennessee father sues over repeat drunk driver | IntoxalockIgnition interlock devices were designed to keep the roadways safe by barring inebriated people from driving their vehicles. The devices are so effective that many states require them to be installed in the vehicles of all convicted drunk drivers. Tennessee is one of these states. That’s why the death of Kenya Matthews, a Shelby county boy, came as even more of a shock upon discovering that the drunk driver who hit him was required to get an ignition interlock device months ago.

Matthew’s was struck by a drunk driver while riding his bike earlier this year. The driver, Melvin Williams, was just three months out of being arrested for reckless driving. Part of Williams’ sentence was installing an ignition interlock device on his vehicle before driving again, something he failed to do. Williams was still able to drive illegally because there are currently no follow-ups to check that convicted DUI offenders have the ignition interlock device installed. Because of this loophole in the system, Williams was able to avoid installing an ignition interlock device, as so he was once again able to drive while intoxicated and Kenya Matthews lost his life.

Stronger interlock laws will prevent deaths

Kenya Matthew’s father, Thaddeus Matthews, has decided to go forward with a lawsuit against Shelby County to raise awareness of this flaw in the system. Tennessee has a strong stance against drunk driving with its first offender law, but more needs to be done. The problem doesn’t end at Tennessee either; many states have these loopholes.

We can only hope that more steps are taken to ensure an offender installs an IID so more lives won’t be lost. Whether having the installer call the state to confirm installation, or having the offender bring their vehicle in for inspection, more can be done to keep our roads and communities safe.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, Ignition Interlock Devices
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Colorado BACtrack app put out in an attempt to reduce drunken driving

Posted on September 15th, 2017 / By Melanie Vespestad

Data has shown that about 40 percent of DUI’s in Colorado involve people who have previously been convicted of a DUI.

Colorado BAC Track | Intoxalock

What does this mean?

It’s time for a change, and the Colorado Department of Transportation wants to take action. Their goal is to help previous offenders understand their level of impairment from the alcohol they are drinking so that they can make informed decisions about whether it’s okay to get behind the wheel, or if they should choose an alternate form of transportation.

Those who choose to participate in this study will receive a BACtrack Mobile Pro. This device is a portable breathalyzer that can connect to a cell phone application. The app has several different features that could be helpful to those who have been drinking alcohol in public. First, when you blow into the portable breathalyzer, the application will report the blood alcohol level so that the participant knows if they are above or below the legal limit to be able to drive after consumption. The other features can be used after the BAC is tracked. The app estimates how long it will take for the participant’s BAC to return to zero, but it also will allow the user to request an Uber ride.

They believe that if Colorado residents have the knowledge of their BAC level combined with how they feel at that moment will help them make better, more informed decisions later on when they choose to drink in public. With the additional features, a person could have a fair estimate of how long they would need to stay at their current location without drinking before they would be able to drive home unimpaired by alcohol.

Although this app can help participants to get a better grasp of their impairment after each drink, this app cannot do anything to stop their decision making. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the app will stop them from driving drunk again.  The only truly effective way to stop previous offenders from again drinking and driving is an ignition interlock device, or car breathalyzer. A car breathalyzer keeps a person from driving drunk by calculating the amount of alcohol that is in a driver’s breath. After the Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) is processed, if the BrAC is too high, even if it is under the legal limit, the vehicle will not start because the IID is connected to the vehicle’s starter.

Even though people are continuing to create other apps that help with sharing rides and encouraging positive choices after a night of consuming alcohol, an ignition interlock device is the only thing stopping someone from making foolish decisions once they get into a vehicle. Intoxalock stresses the importance of using interlocks to make driving with the presence of alcohol impossible.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, News
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Choosing an ignition interlock provider should be easy

Posted on September 11th, 2017 / By Melanie Vespestad

If you’ve recently been convicted of a DUI offense, or if your client has, you might be looking into the many steps of the DUI process. It’s likely that one of these steps is helping a client regain their license through the installation of an ignition interlock device. Choosing an ignition interlock provider can seem like a daunting task, but with over 25 years of experience, Intoxalock has several specific benefits that we take pride in.

The easiest to use

Since 1992, Intoxalock has been providing ignition interlock devices throughout the country. Since the beginning, our goal has been to have our device display accurate readings and provide users with a quick and efficient process so that those who’ve received a DUI can get back onto the road quickly and easily. Unlike other providers in the ignition interlock industry, our company has never been de-certified in a state for any reason. We are reliable, and we are constantly working to keep our technology top notch. With options for both English and Spanish programming and an easy blow pattern, Intoxalock continues to provide new features that keep customers happy.

Affordable pricing

DUIs are expensive, but your IID shouldn’t be. For as little as $2.15 per day, you could be back to driving. Intoxalock also offers many different promotions, including financial assistance, free installation, first month free, and other discounts in states that apply. Our Intoxalock representatives are trained to help you find the lowest price available.

Thousands of locations

With more than 2500 locations within the United States, Intoxalock offers convenience throughout the installation and calibration process. Rather than driving hundreds of miles to get your vehicle outfitted, Intoxalock provides many great locations that keep the work on your vehicle close to home, expediting the overall process. We also offer mobile installation, which gives an installer the ability to come to a customer, as long as state regulations allow it. Flexible scheduling and appointment reminders make Intoxalock a convenient interlock provider. Intoxalock has an online account management platform, MyAccount, which helps customers make payments online and schedule their own calibrations. We also offer customer care, available 24/7 to help answer any questions.

Intoxalock’s goal is to help make the lives of our customers simple. We have more than 100,000 customers every year and continue to expand our reach by providing more than 2,500 convenient locations for IID installation. With a positive work ethic and a large network of service centers, Intoxalock has been helping DUI offenders for more than 25 years. To speak with a state specialist, please call (855)-531-5244, and they’ll help you understand how Intoxalock can help you regain your driving privileges soon.

 

 

 

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, Ignition Interlock Devices

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Intoxalock presents: Ignition interlocks as a behavior modification tool

Posted on September 8th, 2017 / By Intoxalock Contributor

Intoxalock Iowa CLEIf you are an Iowa attorney looking for a CLE credit hour or if you are interested in learning more about ignition interlock devices, attend Intoxalock’s CLE credit hour.

Intoxalock presents: Ignition Interlocks as a Behavior Modification Tool

  • What is an ignition interlock and how does it work?
  • Iowa DWI requirements
  • Benefits of advanced technology
  • IID Effectiveness

When: September 28th, 2017 from 3-4pm or September 29th from 10-11 am

Where: Intoxalock Corporate Offices
11302 Aurora Avenue
Urbandale, IA 50322

To register and attend this CLE, email partner@intoxalock.com to reserve your spot. Seats are limited.

If you are interested in having an Intoxalock ignition interlock expert put together a presentation for you, please contact us at partner@intoxalock.com.


ABOUT THE PRESENTER: 
Skyler Roder is the Iowa and Wisconsin Territory Representative at Intoxalock. With over 5 years of experience in the industry, Skyler works with Attorneys, Treatment centers and industry affiliates daily.

This CLE credit hour has been approved by the Iowa Commission on Continuing Legal Education

 

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, Ignition Interlock Devices

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Intoxalock’s 2017 summer legislative update

Posted on August 31st, 2017 / By Caitlin Lee

It has been a busy summer in the ignition interlock industry and Intoxalock is here to keep you up to speed on what’s happening in your state.

Intoxalock Legislative UpdateIn June, Texas House Bill 3016, legislation that will allow some first-time offenders to seal their criminal backgrounds was passed. The now dubbed, “Second Chance Law” will make it easier for individuals to apply for jobs if they have first-time and low-level offenses on their records by not requiring them to disclose their offense. The new law only allows for nondisclosure of a first-time DWI. It does not allow for an expungement of the individual’s record.

In July, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed into law House Bill 420, mandating an ignition interlock device for wet reckless charges. Sununu also signed into law House Bill 448, mandating compliance based monitoring for first offenders. This bill gives the Division of Motor Vehicles the power to extend a participant’s interlock period for violations of rolling retests, tampering and removing the device without permission.

This month, Oregon passed House Bill 2638, a Bill mirrored after Washington’s regulatory reform and GPS Bill. HB 2638 will create a new program to oversee the vendors and installers of ignition interlock devices to establish standards. The regulatory portion of this bill will take effect on or after July 1st, 2018 with the transfer of oversight from ODOT to OSP in the future.

Also in August, Pennsylvania began the implementation of HB 290 or Act 33, their new first offender law. First offenders with blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) over .10% now have the opportunity to immediately petition PennDOT for the Ignition Interlock Limited License, getting individuals back on the road safely and quickly. Second, third and subsequent offenders can also petition PennDOT for their Ignition Interlock Limited License (IILL), but will still have to serve a portion of their hard suspension.

If you are an attorney, monitoring authority, treatment facility, SR-22 insurance provider or court professional interested in partnering with Intoxalock, please reach out to us directly at Partners@Intoxalock.com.

Filed Under: Legislation
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Pennsylvania Gets Tough on Drunk Driving with New Ignition Interlock Law

Posted on August 23rd, 2017 / By Carly Flaws

Pennsylvania strengthens interlock lawsPennsylvania is taking steps to make their roads safer by strengthening their ignition interlock laws. Senate Bill 290 was signed into law on May 25 of last year by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe and will take effect this Friday (August 25, 2017).

Interlocks now required for some first offenders in Pennsylvania

SB290, or Act 33, has a few key changes to the current ignition interlock guidelines in Pennsylvania. The biggest change is that it’ll require first-time drunk driving offenders convicted of a DUI with a breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) of .10% and greater to install an ignition interlock device for at least one year following a year-long mandatory suspension period. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), an average drunk driver has driven drunk over 80 times before the first arrest so it’s critical to require interlocks for as many offenders as possible.

Ignition Interlock Limited License

With this new law, Pennsylvania is also implementing a new interlock license. With this Ignition Interlock Limited License, first-time drunk driving offenders required to obtain an ignition interlock device (.10% BrAC or greater) can petition Pennsylvania DOT (Penn DOT) immediately after their conviction to obtain their interlock early instead of waiting out the otherwise required year-long suspension.

In addition, consecutive drunk driving offenders (and those charged with refusals) will also be able to apply for the Ignition Interlock Limited License early by shortening their hard suspension period.

Ignition interlocks save lives

Pennsylvania’s previous laws only required ignition interlock devices for repeat drunk driving offenders. By extending these requirements to first offenders with a BrAC of .10% and above, Pennsylvania will keep more drunk drivers off the roads and will cut down on the number of people who re-offend. 50-75% of people continue driving on a suspended license, according to MADD. It’s clear that the immediate installation of an ignition interlock device is crucial in helping to prevent people from starting their vehicles after consuming alcohol.

Intoxalock supports Pennsylvania’s commitment to safer and sober driving. With 130 installation locations state-wide, more than any other ignition interlock provider, Intoxalock is committed to making the interlock process as easy and convenient as possible for Pennsylvania customers. In addition, Intoxalock offers your first month for free to help ease the up-front financial burden of a drunk driving offense.

If you are an affiliate interested in working with Intoxalock, please don’t hesitate to e-mail us today at Partners@Intoxalock.com. To learn more about installing an Intoxalock ignition interlock device, call one of our Pennsylvania interlock specialists today at (855) 531-5244.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, Legislation

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Using social media, drinking and driving prove to be a deadly combination

Posted on August 9th, 2017 / By Melanie Vespestad

The use of social media while drinking and driving again proves to be a deadly combination after four young women died within a four-day period.

Using Instagram and driving drunk

On Friday, July 21, Obdulia Sanchez, Jacqueline Sanchez Estrada and Manuela Seja were driving down the road, snapping pictures and talking. However, the driver, Sanchez was also creating a live Instagram video at the same time, taking her eyes off the road and her hands off the wheel.

What happened next was shocking to all the passengers. As Sanchez lost control, she over-corrected her wheel and ended up driving the car into a wire fence. The car had flipped, ejecting the two 14-year-old girls who weren’t wearing seatbelts in the back seat.

As Sanchez got out of the car and assessed the damage, she was still recording to her Instagram account. The video recorded shows her deceased sister lying on the ground behind her, as she exclaims her remorse for her actions. It was later discovered that Sanchez had been drinking before the crash, and her Blood Alcohol Concentration was .10 after the accident.

Drinking and driving

Another tragedy struck just a few days later when four women, Heather Camisa, Bianca Herwig, Paige Smith and Brooke Molnar, were involved in a crash in Bethel Park, PA as a result of drinking and driving in combination with the use of social media.

Nearly 10 minutes worth of Snapchat videos created by the young women show that they were drinking heavily at a bar, as well as in the vehicle that they were driving. Some of the video footage shows the driver, Smith, with a bottle of liquor between her legs while she operated the vehicle.

As early morning arrived, police reported that the vehicle they were driving in veered off the road and went directly into a utility pole. Smith, Camisa, and Herwig were pronounced dead at the scene, but Molnar was transported to a hospital in critical condition.

Although neither of these accidents was purposeful, the results were deadly. The alcohol that the drivers were drinking caused them to be impaired, allowing them to makeWith the rise of teens using social media, drinking and driving while using a phone has become more popular. out-of-character or rash decisions.  

Why this matters

As MADD said in their Facebook post about these accidents, “Stories like this highlight a disturbing trend of individuals bragging about drinking and driving on social media.”

Drunk driving is a serious matter, one that should never happen at all, let alone be publicized on through social media apps for hundreds to thousands of others to see. Although these are very sad incidents, we hope that people, especially teens, will learn from these women’s mistakes and choose to not operate a vehicle while drinking, using social media, or even worse, doing all at once.

Drunk driving while distracted by social media, texting and other technologies is the most deadly of evils our roads have ever seen. If ignition interlock devices are mandatory for all drunk driving offenders, regardless of the severity of the crime, we can cut down on some of these fatal accidents. While many states are making great strides in requiring interlocks for all drunk driving offenders, there is still progress to be made as a whole.

As Bethel Park police Chief Tim O’Conner said of the Pennsylvania situation, “We would stress to everyone that if you must drink, get a designated driver, make a phone call, have someone transport you even if you have to pay for it, party at home.There are options other than going out and trying to wheel yourself after consuming a considerable amount of alcohol.”

Intoxalock offers special pricing for the voluntary install of an ignition interlock devices. To learn more about how an ignition interlock device can help keep you or your loved ones safe on the road, call us today at (855) 531-5244.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, News
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