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Colorado BACtrack app put out in an attempt to reduce drunken driving

Posted on September 15th, 2017 / By Melanie Vespestad

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

Colorado BAC Track | Intoxalock

What does this mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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.

 

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

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New push to strengthen Kentucky DUI laws

Posted on March 3rd, 2017 / By Carly Flaws

Intoxalock KentuckyThe Kentucky House is expected to vote this week on a proposed bill that would prohibit shock probation in driving under the influence (DUI) cases that involve fatalities. Representative Robert Benvenuti, the Bill’s sponsor, said that the legislation would affect those convicted of second-degree manslaughter or reckless homicide.

Shock probation is the policy where a judge orders a convicted offender to prison for a short time then suspends the remainder of the sentence in favor of probation. Currently, families of those victims in DUI fatality cases may find those convicted of the crime have been released months after serving part of their time. “Often only after serving 60 days, 90 days or six months for taking the life of another individual because they chose to be impaired while driving,” Benvenuti said.

Carolyn Scharf, whose 17-year-old daughter died in 1985 after being hit by an impaired driver spoke to committee members who had experienced this. Scharf said the offender was released from jail after only 63 days of their sentence. According to Scharf, “Shock probation let her walk out of Jefferson County jail after 63 days. Our loss is a lifetime sentence. There is no shock probation for us.”

This bill is completely separate from House Bill 261, which passed the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, 2/22. This Bill would only let people be convicted of a first-offense DUI once in a lifetime, regardless of when the offense occurred. Kentucky law treats DUI offenses on a sliding scale – penalties worsen with each additional offense. However, with a current look back period of ten years, offenders can have two DUIs, more than ten years apart, and have both treated as first offenses, often with no jail time.

This bill comes with contention, as house democrats are afraid that it will penalize offenders for the rest of their life for one mistake. But Republican state representative Jim DuPlessis, who sponsored the Bill, said that it would discourage reckless behavior.

“The whole idea is your first stays with you. If that is not agreeable to you, this is not the bill for you, quite frankly,” said Republican Rep. Robert Benvenuti. “The whole idea is the offense remains so the system cannot be manipulated by those who choose to manipulate it.”

Intoxalock is a certified ignition interlock device provider in Kentucky and has over 44 certified installation locations throughout the state. If you need an interlock installed in Kentucky, 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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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.

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