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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.

 

 

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MADD shows just how effective interlocks are

Posted on April 27th, 2017 / By Matthew Kenny

As we see in our day-to-day lives, drunk driving is still a problem that affects people throughout the entire nation. There have been numerous attempts to curb this tragic tendency with stricter license suspension laws, yet there still remains the gray area of drunk driving with a suspended license. This is where ignition interlocks come into play, to fill up this gray area and eliminate the combination of drinking and driving.

In a recent infographic posted by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), this fact of ignition interlock devices succeeding where license suspensions fail is perfectly exemplified. With just a mere license suspension, there are zero obstacles a person must overcome to drink and get behind the wheel again.

MADD: License suspensions don’t prevent repeat offenses

As reported within the infographic, nearly 50-75% of convicted drunk drivers still drive on their suspended licenses, explaining the fact that one-third of first offenders repeat this dangerous offense.

In recent years, there have been large numbers reported of people being caught drunk driving on a suspended license. In 2009, California reported 43,000 people were caught drunk driving on suspended licenses. More recently, 17,000 were caught in Florida in 2012 and 2,000 in Wisconsin for all of 2014. The bottom line is, license suspensions do not eliminate the habit of drunk driving.

Ignition interlock devices are the most effective solution

On the other hand, with the implementation of an ignition interlock device, two important barriers are established to prevent drivers from drunk driving on a suspended license. The first obstacle is that before the car even starts a person must submit a breath test to see how much alcohol is within their system. If alcohol is actually detected and they fail multiple tests in a row, their car will enter into a lockout mode and the potential drunk driver will not be able to operate their car until it is taken out of lockout by the ignition interlock provider.

The second obstacle is the random retest, which requires the driver to resubmit random breath test while operating their car. This prevents drivers from passing their initial start-up test and drinking as they operate their vehicle. If a person fails or misses a retest multiple times, their car will enter into a lockout mode.

Their car will not shut off but it will beep and flash its lights, drawing attention to it and prompting the driver to get off the road. If no alcohol is detected for all of the breath samples the driver takes, the driver will be able to reach their destination in a safe and sober manner.

In this day and age of technology and information, we must look towards the facts to update our methods of preventing drunk driving. Antiquated license suspension laws are just not cutting it, and we must strive to provide better protection on the roads for our friends and family. Ignition interlocks are a proven method of providing this protection while allowing those who made the mistake of drunk driving to still live their everyday lives.

To see the infographic mentioned in this article, and to see how to demand ignition interlock laws in your area, please visit MADD’s website.

If you are interested in obtaining an ignition interlock device or mandated to have one by a court order, learn more about why you should choose Intoxalock as your ignition interlock provider.

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Don’t rely on luck alone this St. Patrick’s Day

Posted on March 17th, 2017 / By Caitlin Lee

NITSA St Patrick's Day Statistics

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and everyone is busy making plans for the holiday festivities, green beer included. March 17th is notoriously known as a deadly day in the United States, as we continue to see a spike in drunk-driving fatalities. Whether your plans include going to the local pub, a parade or celebrating with friends, don’t rely on luck alone this year; Plan ahead and designate a sober driver to get you home safely.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 252 people lost their lives in drunken driving-related crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period from 2011-2015. More than a fourth of them were killed in drunk-driving crashes that occurred in the early morning, post-party hours — midnight to 5:59 a.m.

Let’s do our part to make 2017 different.

  • NOW: Even if you don’t have plans yet, plan to drive sober or designate someone else to. Save the number of a taxi company in your phone so you always have a backup plan. Download a ride sharing app to make finding a way home even easier.
  • WHEN YOU MAKE PLANS: A sober driver is an essential part of any party plan. Once you know where you’ll celebrate, decide whether you’re drinking or driving. You can only choose one.
  • ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Before you take your first sip of green beer, leave your keys at home or give them to a friend. If you’re the designated driver, don’t drink. Enjoy non-alcoholic beverages and brag about your VIP (very important partygoer) status online using the hashtag #designateddriver. Only drive sober or ride with a sober driver.
  • EVERY DAY: If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, take an Uber or use public transportation to get home safely. If you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely. Help those around you be responsible too.

NHTSA and Intoxalock want to remind you once again that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Drivingdrive sober. For more information on buzzed driving, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.

If you or someone you know is interested in installing an ignition interlock device to prevent drunk driving or to regain a driver’s license, Intoxalock can help. Give us a call today at (855)-531-5244.

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MADD: Ignition Interlocks Stopped 2.3 Million Drunk Driving Attempts in the Past Ten Years

Posted on March 15th, 2017 / By Caitlin Lee

In 2016, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) wanted to quantify how effective ignition interlocks are. According to their 2017 report, “MADD has been advocating for ignition interlocks for all drunk drivers, starting with the first offense, for the past 10 years, with the firm belief that advanced technology is the best defense available to combat the tragedies caused by drunk driving.”

In the decade between 2006 and 2016, 2.3 million car starts were prevented with an interlock device in a car whose driver had a BAC > .08. MADD collected data from 11 ignition interlock manufacturers and found that ignition interlocks have stopped 350,000 attempts to drive drunk in 2016 alone.

Every state has an ignition interlock law of some kind, but MADD’s goal is to have every state adopt the most effective ignition interlock law, a law that will apply to every single drunk driver after the first offense. As of today, 28 states and the District of Columbia have laws in place for ignition interlock device requirements after the first offense. It is MADD’s priority to work with states who have yet to adopt the same laws.

There were significant changes made to state laws last year. According to MADD’s report:

  • Maryland, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, D.C. all enacted all-offender interlock laws, bringing the total to 28 states and D.C.
  • Pennsylvania enacted a law requiring devices for first time offenders and refusals with a BAC of .10 or greater.
  • California, Georgia and Ohio enacted laws that will incentivize the use of interlock devices.
  • West Virginia lawmakers were able to defeat a measure eliminating Administrative License Revocation (ALR). Successfully repealing this law would have been devastating, as the coupling of ALR and IID’s has helped to decrease drunk driving deaths by 50%
  • Mississippi and Tennessee enacted laws requiring IID users to prove compliance before having it removed or being relicensed.

For more information, click here to read MADD’s full report.

 

Intoxalock is a certified ignition interlock device provider and has over 1900 certified installation locations nationwide. If you need an interlock installed, call us today at (855) 531-5244 to talk with one of our state specialists. If you are an affiliate and are interested in learning more about how Intoxalock can help your clients, email us at Partners@Intoxalock.com.

 

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Utah Lawmakers Look to Lower DUI Limit to .05

Posted on March 13th, 2017 / By IntoxBlog

Utah dui state laws

Last week, Utah’s legislature voted 17-12 in favor of HB155, a bill that will lower drivers’ permissible level of blood alcohol in the state from .08 percent to .05 percent. This Bill, if signed by Governor Herbert, will help to position Utah as the strictest state with DUI blood alcohol limit in the country. Under current law, if someone is found to be impaired but is still below .08, they would face a citation rather than a DUI charge and an automatic 120-day driver’s license suspension.

The House already voted on HB155 last month, with 48-26 in favor of the measure. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the measure will be put in front of Utah’s Governor this week. The governor’s spokeswoman said the governor is “supportive” of the step.

Currently, no other state has adopted this measure. Lawmakers in Washington are considering lowering the legal limit for blood-alcohol content this year, while recently, Hawaii’s Bill to pass a similar proposal died in the Legislature. This will follow a trend of European countries like Spain, Germany, France and Belgium, all who have employed a .05 legal limit.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has previously identified that a blood alcohol content level of .05 percent can give a driver a harder time on steering the vehicle, responding to emergencies or tracking moving objects.

“Utah leads,” Senator Stuart Adams said, referring to the fact that Utah was the first state to adopt a blood alcohol limit of 0.08 percent in 1983. “Utah led then, and I think we ought to lead now.”

If signed, the bill will take effect on December 30, 2018. The date was specifically chosen to ensure lower levels of drunken driving incidents around New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Learn more about Utah ignition interlock laws and state requirements

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