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Fourth of July weekend marks one of the deadliest for drivers

Posted on June 30th, 2017 / By Melanie Vespestad

The Fourth of July holiday can be an incredibly fun couple of days filled with barbecues, boating, fireworks, parades, time with family and friends and lots of good food. During all of these fun events many people also choose to drink as a part of their festivities. Unfortunately, thousands of people, some of whom over the legal limit to operate a vehicle, will go to their cars and head home, causing potential danger.

However, what people might not know is that they are about to enter one of the deadliest days of the year for driving. Although the 4th of July holiday might be one of America’s favorites, it can also turn into one of the deadliest holidays of the year, all because of drunken driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, during the Independence Day holiday weekend of 2015 (from 6 p.m. July 2nd to 5:59 a.m. July 6), 146 people were killed in crashes that involved at least one drunk driver with a BAC of .08 or higher. Also, 92 people died in crashes involving at least one drunk driver with a BAC of .15 or higher, which is nearly twice the legal limit in all states.

Because of these stats for the Fourth of July weekend year after year, it’s important to plan everything in advance, including a designated driver. If you choose to drink during the holiday festivities, choose to call a friend or rely on a rideshare app to get you safely to your destination.

Police will be on patrol, doing their best to remind people the importance of either driving sober or getting pulled over. With all of the different options for getting around, there is no excuse for choosing to drive while intoxicated this Independence Day.

However, we know that nothing can fully prevent a drunk driver from starting their vehicle like an Intoxalock ignition interlock. Our interlocks help to stop a person from driving while intoxicated with an in-car breathalyzer. If a person submits a breath sample over the legal limit, they will not be allowed to start their car. Retests are required through the duration of the drive to ensure that the driver remains sober.  

If the stats aren’t enough for you, look into the cost of a DUI, both the financial burden of it, and the steps you would need to take to get back to driving again and living a normal life. A DUI can cost you your freedom. When it’s all said and done, driving drunk or even buzzed is not worth the potential consequences.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving
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New Hampshire closes two loopholes regarding interlocks

Posted on June 23rd, 2017 / By Brad Fralick

Legislators from New Hampshire’s General Court did the right thing last Thursday. With their 2017 session winding down, they passed House Bill 420 and House Bill 448. These bills closed a couple of loopholes that have bedeviled New Hampshire’s interlock program for years.

HB 420 corrects a big oversight in the legislation that created their interlock program. Believe it or not, while first and repeat DUI offenders had to have interlocks before they could be reinstated, drunk drivers who killed did not have to get an interlock prior to being reinstated. That’s right, alcohol-related crashes causing death were left out. Once the legislators realized that, yes indeed, these drivers would get out of prison and be eligible to get a license, these same legislators did the right thing.

HB 448, while less headline grabbing, will have a bigger effect upon traffic safety. 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 concept, called compliance based monitoring, is the hottest trend in improving interlock program effectiveness. States that have moved to this practice have found that the drunk drivers who have learned their lesson get through the interlock requirement without a hitch, but that more than half do not fit that category, and they are constantly getting extended because, indeed, they do have an alcohol problem. But the beauty of this is that these people can still safely keep their jobs, go to school, and be productive members of society because the interlock removes the possibility of them driving drunk again. Everyone wins with effective interlock programs.

Now let’s hope that Governor Sununu signs these bills as everyone expects him to.

Filed Under: Ignition Interlock Devices, Legislation
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Teens test their app against the rideshare competition to stop drunk driving

Posted on June 22nd, 2017 / By Melanie Vespestad

Recently, there’s been a spike within the rideshare competition. With each company coming up with strategic marketing campaigns and reaching out to cover new cities, you’d think our drunk driving dilemma would no longer be of concern. But that’s not the case.

The problem? People don’t want to leave their car at a bar overnight, even if they’re in no state to drive it home. Unless the driver has an ignition interlock installed, there is no mechanism in place to stop these people from “taking their chances” and driving drunk.

A new smartphone app could be joining big names such as Lyft and Uber within the rideshare world. However, this one has a different concept. According to KDVR News, Leave No Car Behind, co-founded by Colorado teenagers Beck Halbeisen and Vinny Rowe, is designed with the main intent being to get the car as well as the owner home safely after a night of drinking.

Similar to the goal of Intoxalock, Leave No Car Behind aims to prevent drunk driving incidents. According to KDVR, Halbeisen and Rowe aim to connect those who have been drinking with two other people who are sober. The idea is that one person can drive the drunk driver home while the other follows and picks them up.

The idea stemmed from the observation that after a night out drinking, many people will understand that they have had too much to drink and shouldn’t drive, but most aren’t willing to leave their car behind when heading home for the night. They see leaving their vehicle at a bar as more of a next-day convenience rather than a much needed safety precaution.

Since the teens behind the concept aren’t old enough to actually get into bars, they’ve been greeted with a lot of strange looks and remarks when they go to pick up an intoxicated customer. However, the app is still doing its job to get both the car and the consumer home safely.

Although the idea has been met with some criticism, Halbeisen and Rowe will continue to seek investors with the goal of expanding their reach outside of Colorado and into other areas nationwide.

These teens, as well as many other across the country, are fighting to make a difference. It’s exciting to see more and more people who can influence future laws. Those who care and fight for stricter laws against drunk driving offenses can make a difference. It’s been found that those who are speaking with legislators are making a difference, as you can read in our recent blog post about Arizona tightening its legislation in regards to ignition interlocks.

Together we can accomplish more in the fight for safe and responsible driving. To learn more about how Intoxalock can help prevent people from driving after drinking, call us today at (855) 531-5244.

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New Nevada law requires all DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock

Posted on June 16th, 2017 / By Melanie Vespestad

On Monday, June 12, Governor Brian Sandoval took steps to make roadways safer when he signed SB 259 into Nevada law.

The bill revises provisions that relate to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a driver has more than .08 blood alcohol concentration or has evidence of a controlled substance such as marijuana in their urine, police are required to revoke the driver’s license. Through the Nevada law, the state will require all who are convicted of a DUI to install an ignition interlock device.

Nevada is the second state this month to put an all-offender law in place. Earlier this month, Oklahoma’s governor recently signed an ignition interlock bill for all offenders.

The new Nevada law also changed the length of time that a person is required have the ignition interlock. Under the new law, drivers who have been arrested for a DUI are required to have an IID for no less than six months following the conviction unless otherwise determined by a judge. When ordered to install, they are required to install the device in less than 14 days.

To protect others and keep all drivers safe, our goal is to fight for every state to adopt an all-offender law. This is the 13th bill that refers to ignition interlocks, and Nevada is now the 30th state in the country that has an all-offender law within their books.

Effective October 1, 2018, this Nevada law will make roadways safer by requiring more than 1500 drivers annually to have an ignition interlock device, who previously might have been prone to driving while intoxicated.

This law is important for those fighting for safety on the roads, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is very excited about another state choosing to pass an all-offender law.

“MADD is pleased to add Nevada to the growing list of states that recognize this common sense approach to keeping drunk drivers off the road,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “We are up to 30 states and Washington, D.C., and we won’t stop until we get to all 50 states. MADD calls on states like Massachusetts, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey and Wisconsin to pass this lifesaving law.”

With special pricing discounts and a 24/7 bilingual customer service team, Intoxalock is committed to being the number one ignition interlock provider in the state of Nevada. Intoxalock currently has 16 certified installation locations in Nevada that help to make getting an IID install easy. If you’ve been convicted of a DUI and need an ignition interlock installed in Nevada, call us at (855) 531-5244 or fill out a quick start at Intoxalock.com. If you are an affiliate and are interested in learning more about how Intoxalock can help your clients, email us at Partners@Intoxalock.com. Our goal is to get you back on the road quickly and safely.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, Ignition Interlock Devices, Legislation
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Estimating BAC level becomes even tougher with mislabeling

Posted on June 9th, 2017 / By Melanie Vespestad

There are many factors that make it difficult to accurately estimate your blood alcohol content (BAC). Studies show that as your BAC increases, your ability to accurately estimate your level of intoxication decreases. Now, you might not even be able to trust the labels on the alcohol containers to accurately tell you how much alcohol you are even consuming.

According to USAToday, a popular gin was recalled in early May for an error in the alcohol content. Although the liquor normally has an alcohol content of 44 percent, tests of the distributed Bombay Sapphire discovered that certain bottles contained more than 77 percent alcohol.

USAToday stated that Bacardi, the company that produces Bombay Sapphire, issued the recall themselves after a consumer complaint was issued.

Shockingly enough, this wasn’t the first incident of recalled alcohol in Ontario. Just two months earlier, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario issued a recall for a batch of Georgian Bay vodka that was also bottled before being properly diluted. In both instances, the liquor contained nearly double the amount of alcohol, and an article from BBC News reported that this mistake was traced back to the production line.

This can be a huge problem with safety. If a person thinks they know their limit based on an amount rather than staying in tune with their body and the way that it feels, they might become more likely to drink past their own tolerance as well as the legal limit. 

Although this issue has recently been related to hard liquor, previous years have shown that incorrectly labelled alcohol has been common in wine. According to Rehab 4 Alcoholism, in 2015, there was a similar occurrence with wine labels printing incorrect information regarding the alcohol content.

In a study conducted by the University of California at Davis titled “False Label Claims About High and Rising Alcohol Content of Wine,” more than 100,000 bottles of wine were tested. Within that testing, 60 percent of those bottles had 0.42 percent more alcohol than what the label claimed.

The lead researcher of the study, Professor Julian Alston, noted that even though numerically, the difference in alcohol content on the label and actual alcohol content weren’t different by a huge margin, it could still modify the behavior of the consumer.

“A discrepancy of 0.4 percentage points might not seem large relative to an actual value of 13.6 percent alcohol by volume, but even errors of this magnitude could lead consumers to underestimate the amount of alcohol they have consumed in ways that could have some consequences for their health and driving safety,” Alston said.

Moving forward, it’s important to not only be aware of possible discrepancies on alcohol labels, but to also know what your body can handle, what your own personal limit is.

Ignition interlock devices can be critical in separating drinking from driving. Interlocks are the only mechanism in place that can prevent somebody from starting their vehicle while intoxicated. To learn more about voluntarily installing an ignition interlock in your vehicle, call us today at (855) 531-5244.

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Boating while intoxicated is illegal in all 50 states

Posted on May 26th, 2017 / By Melanie Vespestad

As Memorial Day approaches, it’ll be the first chance many have to get out and truly enjoy the beautiful spring weather before it gets too hot. And for most that have bodies of water near them, boating instantly becomes a part of the weekend plans.

However, it’s important to refresh yourself on state laws before going out onto the water for the first time this year. BAC levels differ per state, and the rules are also different depending on if you are operating a boat or driving a car. In Iowa, consuming alcohol on a boat is legal as long as the operator of the boat is not under the influence. Remember that if you plan on doing any other water activities such as water skiing or tubing, you may want to wait to consume any alcohol until after you are finished.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there are many factors that can multiply the effects of alcohol when you are on the water. These can include the sun and its glare off the water, water movement and wind. When you are boating or operating a motor vehicle, alcohol can quickly diminish your ability to make good decisions and reduces your reaction time.  Also, most people spend fewer hours operating a boat than anything else, so lack of experience can also play a role in accidents on the water.

A 2006 study by the U.S. Coast Guard found that 22.6 percent of the Boating Accident Report Database’s fatalities in 2002-2003 mentioned alcohol or drugs as a contributing factor to the deaths and 35.8 percent had a mention of alcohol or drugs somewhere within the record. However, it’s important to understand that coast guard statistics doesn’t include smaller accidents that have occurred, which don’t need to be reported. It’s likely that there have been even more deaths related to alcohol that weren’t reported to the coast guard, therefore they aren’t included in statistics. Also, some accidents might not have been reported due to a lack of understanding of regulations by boaters.

Iowa laws regarding boating under the influence of alcohol

This law does not apply to only motor boats, but all boats, including canoes and smaller manually powered boats. In Iowa, here are the consequences of operating a boat while intoxicated, per the Iowa Department of Natural Resources:

In Iowa, refusing to submit to a breath test can be detrimental. If you do refuse, it can result in a $500 fine and a one year suspension of boat operating privileges. The laws become even stricter if you are a repeat offender. During a second offense, a refusal results in a $1,000 fine as well as suspension of boat operating privileges. Third-time offenders who refuse to submit to a breath test will receive a $2,000 fine and suspension of boat operating privileges.

In some states, receiving a BUI can result in jail time, and in others, it could also directly affect a person’s driver’s license privileges. In states such as California, your driver’s license could be suspended because of a BUI. In other states, if you already have a DUI and are on probation, this would count as an alcohol violation.

BAC content for boating

In the infographic, the orange states represent those in which receiving a BUI could affect their driver’s license or driving record. Blue colored states represent those who don’t have laws in which a BUI would affect a driver’s license. Most states have a “no tolerance” law for minors who choose to consume alcohol and then operate a vehicle. The BAC level listed within each state shows the minimum level required in order to get a BUI in that state.

So remember, as you’re planning your weekend activities, be careful with the decisions you make that involve alcohol. Choose to have a designated driver, whether it be on a boat or in a car. Don’t put yourself or others at risk while you’re having fun because it could result in you being behind bars before the weekend is over.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, News
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Arizona passes law to strengthen interlock program

Posted on May 25th, 2017 / By Carly Flaws

Arizona is taking steps to strengthening drunk driving and ignition interlock laws statewide. Earlier this week, Governor Doug Ducey signed SB 1150 into law, effective July 1, 2018. This will regulate Arizona’s ignition interlock device laws and processes and will make Arizona’s program one of the most cutting edge ones in the country. With best practices outlined in the new law, Arizona’s ignition interlock program will be an effective model for other states to replicate.Intoxalock ignition interlock device Arizona

The new law will require ignition interlock vendors and service centers to obtain specific insurance and will set vendor bond requirements. It will also implement jurisdiction requirements to ensure that the interlock providers in the state are committed to making the process convenient for Arizona drivers. Effective July 1, 2018, ignition interlock vendors will be required to have at least one installation location in every county throughout the state.

In addition, this law will allow the Department of Transportation to increase the time periods between required servicing of the interlock devices.

Perhaps the most important change this law will bring is the type of ignition interlock device that must be installed. Once effective, the new law will require ignition interlock devices to possess advanced technology capabilities that make interlock programs more effective and transparent. States that have implemented advanced technology requirements have seen dramatic decreases in the number of repeat drunk driving offenders and have seen drunk driving deaths fall.

“Arizona is taking huge steps in the right direction. Lives will be saved and the roads will be safer for everybody. We support advanced technology and a strict interlock program to maximize the effectiveness and believe that all states should make the changes Arizona is making,” Brad Fralick, Intoxalock Director of Government Relations said.

Intoxalock currently has 59 certified installation locations in Arizona. With 24/7 bilingual customer service, an easy-to-use device and special pricing discounts, Intoxalock is committed to being the interlock leader in the state.

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Missouri legislature voted to pass Bill that cuts DWI checkpoint funding to $1 per year

Posted on May 12th, 2017 / By Caitlin Lee

DWI Checkpoint

Governor Eric Greitens will decide if a proposed amendment that will eliminate DWI check points will become law. If signed by the governor, House Bill 4 will slash funding for checkpoints to just $1 per year. The new law would go into effect on August 28th, 2017. Currently, the budget for DWI checkpoints in Missouri is at $20 million per year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides those funds to the Missouri Department of Transportation, which then splits up the funds for each respective budget.

The Bill’s author has argued that checkpoints are not as of an effective countermeasure to drunk driving due to social media. Some lawmakers view the checkpoints as invasions of privacy and a violation of constitutional right, saying they promote the notion of “guilty until proven innocent.”

Fitzpatrick said he thinks money should go toward saturation patrols which he said are designed to put more officers out on the streets as opposed to stopping more cars.”Saturation patrols are more effective and they get more drunk drivers without the inconvenience to people who are trying to get from a to b, and are getting caught up in the process,” Representative Fitzpatrick said in an article to KFVS news.

MADD and local Law enforcement officers disagree completely.

“Using the budget to eliminate a proven countermeasure against drunk driving is disgraceful,” MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church said in a statement released by MADD on May 3. “We know from peer-reviewed studies that sobriety checkpoints reduce drunk driving deaths by 20 percent by catching drunk drivers. Publicity about checkpoints on social media and in the news deters people from drinking and getting behind the wheel, because they know they will be caught.”

According to KSHB News, Christopher Mann, a member of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving board for directors also disagrees with the measure. “Not only is this a slap in the face of victims of drunk driving, this is a slap in the face for law enforcement. Law enforcement officers throughout the state should be outraged that the legislators are taking money away from them at this time.”

To follow the Bill’s status, visit the Missouri House website.

 

 

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Teen drunk driving deaths spark a need for awareness

Posted on May 9th, 2017 / By Carly Flaws

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. Even more, a quarter of those crashes involve an underage drunk driver. (MADD) Teen drunk driving is an epidemic and it needs to be put in the spotlight to create awareness about the severity of it.

Florida residents and parents nationwide are mourning the deaths of two teenagers involved in a drunk driving crash over the weekend. A third teenager is still in the hospital recovering. The car veered off the road and slammed into a tree just minutes after the teens posted shocking video clips to social media, according to abcactionnews.com.

intoxalock teen drunk drivingIn the videos, the teens are showing off bottles of alcohol and are smoking. A sister of one of the teens posted the videos to social media in hopes that they would serve as a warning for other people. Ultimately, she hopes they will save lives. The video has been shared thousands of times and the family is requesting that others continue passing on the message.

“I hope the young ones coming up will make better choices.  It’s frightening.  It’s terrible.  It didn’t have to happen,” Beverly Stroup said. Stroup and her husband drove by the crash just minutes after it happened.

Ignition interlock devices can be critical tools to help prevent drunk driving by teens. Intoxalock offers special pricing on the voluntary installation of ignition interlock devices for young drivers 23 and under.  For less than $1 a day, parents can add an additional level of safety to their child’s vehicle and can actively separate drinking from driving.

The statistics surrounding teen drunk driving are startling. About one in seven teens binge drink and it’s been proven that kids who start drinking at a young age are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash. (MADD) Intoxalock is committed to helping prevent drunk driving and ignition interlock devices can be critical to preventing teens from starting a vehicle while intoxicated. Call us today at (855) 531-5244 to learn more about protecting your teens from drinking and driving.

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Research shows Americans over 60 are drinking more

Posted on May 1st, 2017 / By Caitlin Lee

A recent article published by the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research  shows Americans over 60 are drinking more than they were 20 years ago. “Given the larger number of Americans we are going to have (as the population continues to age) that’s going to increase the need for more public health programming and planning” the study suggested. The researcher analyzed gender-specific trends from 145,000 responses between the years of 1997-2014.

In those years, binge drinking in men rose from 19.9% to 22.5%. Women had a similar upward trend, rising about 6% between 1997 and 2013. Binge drinking was used as its own category, and represented consumption of five or more drinks in a single day in the past year.

Between 1997 and 2014, binge drinking in men rose from 19.9% to 22.5%. Women had a similar upward trend, rising about 6% between 1997 and 2013

 

The Drinking Gender Gap

In the US, 20 years ago, 54% of men 60 and older were reported to be “current drinkers,” and 37.8% of women fit the same description. In 2014, both groups saw increases: Men rose to 59.9% and women to 47.5%. The flight larger uptick in women closed the margin to 12.4%. One interesting finding is that we see the gender gap closing.

Previously, researchers saw more of an increase from men, but now they see an equal increase. Dr. Bhanuprakash Kolla, a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic said “that the equalization between genders was unfortunate because the trend shows use in women is going up, not that the use in men is going down.” The study’s findings suggested that the upward trend of drinking among adults over 60, in particular women, suggests the importance of public health planning to meet future needs for alcohol-related programs.

According to the research, the aging US population is projected to almost double by 2050. If the trend of increased alcohol consumption that was seen between 1997 and 2014 continues, the researchers note that substantially more drinkers are likely. This will create a major need for public programs, either through public health planning, education and other alcohol-related programs.

 

 

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, News
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