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Fans don’t let fans drive drunk this Super Bowl

Posted on February 1st, 2017 / By Carly Flaws

As Super Bowl LI quickly approaches, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging football fans to call the plays now: if you drink, don’t drive.

NHTSA will be hosting a Twitter chat on February 2nd, 2017 from 3-4 pm eastern, discussing Super Bowl party planning/hosting tips. Followers will have access to DUI stats, and will be able spread the word to help encourage fans not to drive drunk this Super Bowl Sunday.super-bowl-intoxalock

You’re invited to join in the discussion

Who: NHTSA and our team of experts

What: Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk Twitter Chat

When: Thursday, February 2, 2017, 3-4 p.m. ET

Where: www.twitter.com/NHTSAgov 

How: Follow the conversation using #DontDriveDrunk. Feel free to mention @NHTSAgov in any of your tweets and we will get back to as many questions and comments as we can! Remember to include #DontDriveDrunk in your comments so others can follow along the conversation, too.

Invite your friends, family, coworkers and followers to join in spreading the imperative message about designating a sober driver.

Other resources:

NHTSA’s SaferRide app will help keep drunk drivers off of the roads by allowing users to call a taxi or a friend and by identifying their location so they can be picked up. Download the app and start calling the plays today!

Also, apps like Uber and Lyft are available to help drivers get to and from the Super Bowl party safely.

 

Follow NHTSA on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest recalls and safety campaigns

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If you’ve been drinking, this chip bag knows

Posted on January 26th, 2017 / By Carly Flaws

While ignition interlock devices are the only measure in place that can actually prevent a vehicle from being started by a drunk driver, there are many tools out there that can help detect when you may be intoxicated. Among portable breathalyzers and smart phone apps, now a chip bag might be able to suggest that somebody has had too much to drink.

As reported in Adweek, Frito Lay’s Tostitos is releasing a limited edition “Party Safe” bag that is designed to sense when somebody has had too much to drink. In addition, it may be able to help arrange alternate transportation.tostito's party bag

The design is simple. A sensor will detect trace amounts of alcohol on the breath of the person holding the bag. If alcohol is detected, the bag is designed to display a flashing red steering wheel with the words, “don’t drink and drive” below the label on the front of the bag. In addition, the bag will be fitted with near-field communication technology with will allow users to be able to tap their phone on the bag and may be able to arrange for a discounted Uber ride right then and there.

If the bag senses the snacker’s breath alcohol concentration is free of alcohol, a green light will flash.

“We’re proud to introduce to the world the first bag of chips that gets you home safe,” Roger Baran, a creative director at Goodby Silverstein, the agency that designed the bag, told Adweek.

While the technology isn’t designed to be an ultimate deciding factor in whether or not to drive after drinking, it could be a fun addition to any party. It’s crucial to always pre-plan transportation to make sure you have a sober ride home after consuming alcohol.

“Our goal is to remove 25,000 cars from the roads that Sunday evening,” Jennifer Saenz, Frito-Lay’s chief marketing officer told Adweek. “Whether watching the big game at a friend’s house or at a local bar, a safe ride home is just a few easy taps away. By simply entering a participating Tostitos UPC code in the Uber app, fans nationwide can receive $10 off an Uber ride.”

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, News
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The cost of a first-time DUI

Posted on January 24th, 2017 / By Carly Flaws

Content provided by The Law Office of Brian Sloan, AZ DUI Lawyer

Arizona is one of the toughest states in the country when it comes to DUI laws. As time goes on, more and more states are developing harsh DUI penalties to deter drinking and driving. There’s no such thing as getting off easy, even if you are a first-time offender. The truth is, even a misdemeanor DUI conviction will have a drastic impact on your daily life.

  • Mandatory jail time
  • Bail costs
  • Court fees
  • Fines
  • License suspension
  • Ignition interlock device

How is DUI determined?

The legal threshold for a DUI charge in most states is a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent. Anyone driving with a BAC at or above that level could be arrested and charged with DUI. Having a higher blood alcohol content could even lead to more severe consequences, such as extreme DUI, super extreme DUI or aggravated DUI (a felony).Intoxalock DUI attorney

When it comes to determining the true cost of a DUI, it’s important to look at more than the financial impact. Yes, the financial strain can be quite significant when you consider the fines, attorney fees, and the cost of placing an ignition interlock device.

There’s also the financial impact of missing work due to mandatory jail time, court dates and meetings with your DUI attorney.

While these costs are significant, the cost to your personal, family life, career and reputation are also significant. In most states, DUI arrests are part of the public domain and anyone can see that you’ve been arrested.

Bail: If you need to pay bail as a condition of your release, it can range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. It’s up to the judge to set the bail amount. The judge may choose to release you without bail on the condition that you appear at a scheduled court date.

Legal fees: Securing the legal guidance of a skilled attorney is highly recommended. Depending on the circumstances of your case, legal fees could range from $500 to a few thousand.

DUI fines: Fines will vary by state, but in those states with harsh penalties, expect to pay around $1,500. Repeat offenders can expect to pay much higher fines.

Ignition interlock device: In many states, even first-time DUI offenders are required to install an ignition interlock device. You’ll be responsible for paying for regular maintenance of the device, installation and removal and a monthly lease fee.

Avoiding or lessening the costs of a first-time DUI

Of course, the best way to avoid the costs associated with a first-time DUI is to always have a designated driver or to take a cab or ride-share service.

If you are arrested and charged with DUI, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. There are many types of defense attorneys out there and many handle all types of defense, from trespassing to white collar crime and DUI.

You should always look for an attorney who handles DUI and related offenses exclusively. This will provide you with confidence in knowing that the lawyer you choose to work with spends all of his or her time defending suspects charged with driving under the influence.

This person will understand DUI laws thoroughly and know what type of defense will provide you with the most effective representation possible

The cost of a first-time DUI can be severe but with effective legal representation, your lawyer will fight to have your charges reduced or dismissed and help to lessen the blow. If you are arrested, remember to exercise your right to remain silent and speak with your attorney before making a statement or agreeing to a plea bargain.

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Michigan man receives 14th drunk driving conviction

Posted on January 20th, 2017 / By Carly Flaws

A drunk driving offense could happen to anyone. 14 drunk driving offenses, however, signify a greater problem. Zenon Bialokur, a 54 Michigan resident, was recently arrested for his 14th drunk driving offense, a Michigan news source revealed.

Bialokur’s 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix was pulled over by a Michigan deputy after ignoring a traffic signal. “Upon talking to the driver, the deputy determined that he was intoxicated,” the police report filed following Bialokur’s arrest noted.

On top of 13 other drunk driving convictions that dated back to 1998, Bialokur’s record shows ten citations for driving on a suspended license and 12 driving suspensions.

bialokurmug17Bialokur’s 14th drunk driving arrest came with felony drunk driving charges, driving without a license and a charge for possessing “open intoxicants” in a vehicle. He was booked into Macomb County Jail with a $50,000 bond. In addition, his vehicle was impounded by the police.

This case is one of many, unfortunately, that outline flaws in ignition interlock programs across the country. When a license is suspended or even revoked, there is nothing stopping offenders, especially habitual offenders, from continuing to drink and drive.

On average, a person drives drunk 80 times before being caught. In this case, it can be assumed that Bialokur has driven drunk well over 1,000 times. (MADD) That is 1,000 times that his actions could have killed or seriously injured innocent people on the roads.

Intoxalock is in support of requiring ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenders. Studies are consistent in showing that 60-80% of drunk drivers continue driving on a suspended license. Ignition interlocks are the only mechanism that prevents a vehicle from being started while intoxicated. To learn more about ignition interlock devices, contact Intoxalock at (855) 531-5244.

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Sobriety checkpoints: A deterrent to driving while impaired?

Posted on January 11th, 2017 / By Carly Flaws

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.

Sobriety Checkpoints - IntoxalockPurpose of sobriety checkpoints

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.

Results

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.

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Annie’s Law will help save lives in Ohio

Posted on January 6th, 2017 / By Carly Flaws

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%.

To the Rooney family and the sponsors of the bill, it was a cut and dry proposal that made all the sense in the world.Annie's Law Intoxalock

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.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, Ignition Interlock Devices, Legislation
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Intoxalock 2016: A year in review

Posted on December 30th, 2016 / By Carly Flaws

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.

On-site calibrations

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.

Legislation

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.

 

 

 

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New bill would make it a felony nationwide to drunk drive with a child in the car

Posted on December 22nd, 2016 / By Carly Flaws

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.

Leandra RosadoNow, 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.

 

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Avoid a DUI this holiday season [infographic]

Posted on December 21st, 2016 / By Carly Flaws

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.

  1. Plan ahead. Know how much you plan on drinking over a set number of hours and have a plan to get home safely.
  2. Use a ridesharing service or taxi to transport you home. There are many applications that help drinkers “find a ride.”
  3. Politely decline alcohol if you plan to drive.
  4. 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.

Click here to read the full press release.

Intoxalock-holiday drunk driving

 

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Ohio’s all offender law heads to Governor’s desk

Posted on December 7th, 2016 / By Carly Flaws

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.

Rooney’s family started lobbying to strengthen drunk driving laws immediately following Annie’s tragic death. After more than three years, they are finally gaining some closure.annies_law_Intoxalock

“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.

 

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, Legislation
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