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Utah .05 BAC law receives backlash

Posted on July 31st, 2017 / By Melanie Vespestad

In the past few months, the state of Utah and its legislators have been facing backlash because of a new law that was passed. Back in March, Utah became the first state to drop the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) from .08 to .05 when Governor Gary Herbert signed the legislation into law.

The change stems from recommendations of a 2013 National Transportation Safety Board report, which fought for lower BAC limits within the United States. When Utah finally made the change, the state began paying for it almost immediately.

Expected to take effect December 1, 2018,  advocates for the law believe that it will protect drivers on the road and deter against drunk driving.

“This law will save lives, therefore it is good public policy and will move us closer to achieving our goal of Zero Fatalities,” Herbert said in a Washington Times article.

There are several parties that are concerned with this new law. The bar and restaurant industry could take a hit due to customers who are fearful of having more than one drink. The number of drinks Utah has signed a BAC law that changes the legal limit from .08 to .05.purchased at these establishments could diminish drastically over the next several months, and the American Beverage Institute is not happy.

Along the way, several newspaper ads have been run that have jabbed the state for their decision. Some of them encouraged tourists to visit Utah’s surrounding states so that they don’t go on vacation and come home convicted of a DUI.

The most recent ad was created and supported by the American Beverage Institute, and it targeted the legislators who are over the age of 65. The premise came from an unfound NHTSA research that claims that drivers over the age of 65 are more impaired than any younger driver with a BAC of .05.

However, besides the fact that this NHTSA research can’t be found, other research has shown time and time again that those driving with a BAC of .05 or higher show impairment with a potential risk to other drivers. The National Institute of Health looked at many studies and found that even at .05, people showed difficulty with simulated driving tests. The study also found that effects were stronger for sleep deprived and younger drivers that were completing the test, which contradicts the study that the American Beverage Institute was relying on for their recent ad campaign.

Those who have argued against the change believe that the law is too oppressive and restrictive, and they feel that consumers will be too afraid to drink outside their home. The opposition fears that the law will not effectively lower the number of drunk driving arrests. They even wonder if drunk driving arrests will rise due to the standard for arrest being so much lower. Some argue that at .05, a person is not impaired, so there is no need for this law.

This school of thought supports the assumption that refusals will go up because the likelihood of reaching the 0.05 threshold after drinking is so favorable.

In some states, refusals yield harsh penalties such as additional fines, stricter suspensions and longer ignition interlock requirements. For states with this program structure, a 0.05 BAC limit could be beneficial to keeping those that “take their chances” from driving after drinking. In other states, refusals reveal loopholes and could be used by people to avoid the DUI process, thus allowing the opportunity to re-commit the same act over and over again.

While all states share the common goal of making the road safer and decreasing the number of drunken drivers on roadways, the approaches vary greatly. The states with the most strict ignition interlock laws see the most dramatic decreases in alcohol-related deaths. Utah is taking a new approach, and only time will reveal how effective this new law will be.

Filed Under: Legislation
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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.

 

 

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, Legislation, News
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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.

 

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, Ignition Interlock Devices, Legislation, Locations, News
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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

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, Legislation
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A DUI is no laughing matter, even for a clown

Posted on February 10th, 2016 / By Carly Flaws

A veteran Alabama sheriff thought he had already seen all there was to see in the field, until he experienced a recent traffic stop in Pinson, a city outside Birmingham. The Jefferson County officer pulled over 51-year old Joel Sloan around 8:30 p.m. after a concerned motorist called him in. The motorist reported seeing Sloan’s red Ford SUV weaving in and out of traffic.

The catch? As the officer approached Sloan’s vehicle, he noticed Sloan was dressed head-to-toe in a clown costume. Sloan was arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) after his Breath Alcohol Content (BrAC) registered above the legal limit. Sloan confessed he had consumed “only a few drinks” at a local restaurant that night…all while in his clown suit.

Not only was Sloan arrested for DUI. He also had an outstanding felony warrant for first-degree theft. Even after his arrest, Sloan offered up no explanation for his rather odd outfit choice. He did, however, pose for a photo before he was forced to take his costume off.

According to Al.com, Chief Deputy Randy Christian said that no instance of drunk driving is a laughing matter but it isn’t every day that someone dressed as a clown is booked into jail.

In a comment on Sloan’s mugshot posted on the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, one person asked, “Does this look like the unicycle guy from the waffle house?!”

It looks like Sloan is well known in his community.Alabama clown arrested for DUI

While everyone agrees that a DUI is an extremely serious matter, there was some fun to be had with the photos of Sloan. A Facebook commenter asked, ” I have a serious question. When he was pulled over, did 17 other clowns get out of the car with him….lol. Just kidding, good job protecting our families and streets.”

Another commented, “DUI is nothing to clown about. Good job JCSO.”

A DUI can happen to anybody. Intoxalock offers voluntary alcohol monitoring with ignition interlock devices in the state of Alabama. Ignition interlock devices can be installed for as little as $49.95 a month to help guarantee sober driving for your entire family. To learn more about being proactive in separating drinking from driving, call us today at (855) 531-5244.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, News
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5 ways to prevent drunk driving this holiday season

Posted on November 25th, 2015 / By Carly Flaws

With the holiday season among us, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is getting ready to launch their “Pre-Holiday Season Drunk Driving Prevention” campaign that will run from November 28 – December 15, 2015. This is part of their broader “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” campaign that has been gaining popularity in the media. The pre-holiday campaign reminds people to not wreck the holidays by drinking and driving.

The anti-drunk-driving campaign aims to holiday drunk driving preventioneducate people on the dangers of driving after drinking. In 2013, over 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents and due to frequent holiday celebrations, this time of year is especially dangerous. Over 730 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in December of 2013 alone. (NHSTA)

Below are five things to remember when celebrating this holiday season:

  1. It only takes one drink to impair your reaction times when driving.
  2. Designate a sober driver ahead of time. If that isn’t an option, use a taxi or Uber.
  3. If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement immediately.
  4. If you see somebody you think is attempting to get behind the wheel while impaired, take their keys and help them return home safely.
  5. Leave your keys at home if you are planning on consuming alcohol.

It doesn’t take one to be falling over drunk in order for them to be too impaired to drive. All too often, people think they know their own limits but continue to put themselves and others at risk when they get behind the wheel.

It’s important to define your role at the start of any festivities that include drinking. Are you going to drink or are you going to drive? Even if you’ve consumed alcohol but feel ok to drive, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.

Contact us today to find out how an ignition interlock can guarantee sober driving.

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Interlocks: the best solution for preventing drunk driving

Posted on November 11th, 2015 / By Brad Fralick

Recently Wisconsin media published statistics that showed that repeat drunk driving arrest rates are steady or have increased in some locations.  Supporting facts said that the state was not doing enough to combat drunk driving.  Wisconsin is still the only state in which a first offense is not a criminal offense, so if those supporting facts were only talking about first offenders, the media would have a point.

Interlocks prevent repeat drunk driving

Studies show ignition interlock devices are more effective than license suspensions in preventing repeat drunk driving offenses.

But they were not. They were talking about repeat offenders.

The most effective way to reduce drunk driving arrests is to not have your officers arrest these drivers.  Underlying all of this is the fact that there is a large population of repeat drunk drivers without legal driving privileges.   Law enforcement can enforce the laws, or not.  I would rather have big arrest numbers than the alternative.

The real key to denting these numbers is to prevent these repeat offenses.  That is where interlocks come in.   Drunk driving is an unusual crime in that there is a technological solution that can stop the crime cold.  We applaud Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for stepping in and inserting logic into an unfortunate response to these statistics.

Not long after the statistics were released, a proposal surfaced to eliminate all legal driving privileges for 5-time OWI offenders.  These people are unlikely to abide by this law since they have a track record of routinely getting behind the wheel when they shouldn’t be driving be in the first place.

MADD stood up and said that although the proposal seems good, it will not stop the carnage.  They suggested putting interlocks on these offenders for 10 years to completely prevent drunk driving.  The way to stop a drunk driver is to take away his ability to commit the crime.  Interlocks do that.  License suspensions don’t.

 

Content provided by Brad Fralick, Intoxalock’s Director of Government Relations.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving, Legislation
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Will an ignition interlock device damage my vehicle?

Posted on November 9th, 2015 / By Carly Flaws

Intoxalock Ignition interlock devices are professionally installed and do not damage your vehicle. Intoxalock strives to provide top-level services, without damaging or compromising the functionality or electrical system of your car, no matter the make or model.

More and more states mandate the use of ignition interlock devices each year for first and multiple-time DUI offenders. Currently, 25 states have mandatory provisions for all offenses, and several more highly incentivize the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Thus, the experts at Intoxalock’s over 1,600 installation locations nationwide will be able to adhere, efficiently and skillfully, to the needs of your particular vehicle.

Intoxalock will take care of the installation process from start to finish.

Learn more about installing an ignition interlock device today by calling us at (855) 531-5244!

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Do ignition interlocks reduce repeat drunk driving offenses?

Posted on November 4th, 2015 / By Brad Fralick

Ignition interlock devices reduce the number of repeat drunk driving offenses by up to 67 percent (NHTSA).there is a 67 percent reduction of drunk driving offenses after ignition interlock devices are installed.

Everyone deserves a second chance. Yet, statistics show that second chances are often squandered. Roughly a quarter of drunk driving offenders in the United States engage in a repeat drunk driving offense. Lack of motivation, general unawareness and feelings of hopelessness are some of the main contributors to high repeat drunk driving offenses.

Ignition interlock devices offer a more constructive look at a second chance. At Intoxalock, we allow drunk driving offenders to continue pursuing their careers and personal lives. In addition, we give offenders the information and the skills they need to not continue drunk driving.

At Intoxalock, we give our clients an opportunity to learn new sensibilities about driving, drinking, and lifestyle choices. An ignition interlock device is not merely a re-do button; it is an opportunity to rebuild.

Contact us today at (888) 283-5899 or fill out our online form to get started.

Filed Under: Drunk Driving
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