Posts Tagged ‘ignition interlock’

Did You Avoid Installing an Ignition Interlock? Beware, New Yorkers!

Monday, September 26th, 2011

If you have been arrested for a NY DUI, chances are you may be required to install an ignition interlock. Since Leandra’s Law went into effect a year ago, NY DUI laws require DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock.

However, many NY DUI offenders have been able to avoid installing an interlock. They do so by transferring the title of their vehicle to a relative or someone they know. Furthermore, this is often done by the advice of their attorneys.

Currently, lawmakers are attempting to create an addendum to this law to plug this loophole. Soon enough, NY DUI laws will no longer allow DUI offenders to transfer their vehicle’s title. Therefore, if you are caught without installing your required ignition interlock, you could have a hard time getting out of trouble.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in New York and need to install an ignition interlock device, make an appointment with Smart Start of New York today!

Underage Drinking and Ignition Interlocks

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Trying to curb underage drinking is always going to be a challenge, especially when it comes to legally patrolling teens.

In Kinnelon, New Jersey an ordinance was recently scrapped that would allow police to enter private property without warrant if they suspect underage drinking. This raised serious questions about a minor’s right to privacy and no definitive ordinance was set.

However, until New Jersey police have a concrete plan on dealing with underage drinking, what can parents do in the interim?

If you feel as if your teen has a drinking problem, you may want to invest in an ignition interlock.

You may think that ignition interlocks are only for people who have been arrested for a DUI. This is certainly not the case.

Many parents use ignition interlocks on their teens’ vehicles to ensure that their sons and daughters cannot get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Not only does it give parents peace of mind while their children are on the road, it encourages teens to make better decisions when it comes to drinking and peer pressure.

If you are interested in learning more about ignition interlocks or Smart Start of New Jersey locations, head over to this page.

What is Ricci’s Law?

Friday, July 15th, 2011

You may be pretty displeased that you have to install an ignition interlock after your DWI arrest, but you’re not the only one.

You may have heard “Ricci’s Law” floating around and here’s an explanation to understand why it affects you.

The law is named for Ricci Branca, a 17-year old from Egg Harbor who tragically died in a drunk driving accident.  The driver of the vehicle who killed Branca was not only heavily drunk at the time; he was also a repeat offender.

Ricci’s Law requires judges to issue ignition interlock devices to DWI offenders, even to first-time offenders who had a high BAC at the time of arrest. Many more NJ DWI offenders are installing an ignition interlock and this is the reason why you are required to install one, too.

It may be a hassle now, but Ricci’s Law encourages the state of New Jersey to practice safer driving habits, which benefits everyone in the long run.

Smart Start of New Jersey is here to assist you if you have been arrested for a NJ DWI and need to install an ignition interlock device. Search for a Smart Start location near you and make an appointment today!

IID Tip of the Day: Keep Your Unit in the Mount

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Like a lot of other car devices, ignition interlocks come with a mount that can attach easily to your car’s console. I know that when you are in a rush, it is hard to put things back in their places. iPods find a new home on the floor or your GPS takes residence underneath your backseat. It happens. Cars can’t be neat all the time.

However, if you have been required to install an ignition interlock, I would suggest taking an extra few seconds out of your day to make sure your car is organized and your ignition interlock is stored properly in its mount.

When it is time to take a rolling re-test, you don’t want to risk your safety or your record by feeling around on the floor for your ignition interlock device. You want to keep your eyes on the road as much as possible, and you want to take the test before you get a lockout.

By keeping your ignition interlock in its mount, taking a few seconds a day can help you out in the long run.

Understanding Lockouts

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Most ignition interlocks have four kinds of lockouts. If your device locks out, the LED display on your IID’s screen will display, “LOCK”. Here the types of lockouts.

Temporary Lockout

This is a short lockout. In most states a temporary lockout is 15 minutes but it varies depending on your state’s laws. A temporary lockout will occur when you blow 3 fails in a 15 minute time period. During the 15 minute lockout, you are not allowed to retest. This is usually given when the interlock cannot give an accurate read.  You could have eaten something or used mouthwash that gave a false reading. Use this time to wash your mouth out with water.

Restricted Drive Time Lockout

Some IIDs are programmed with restricted driving times, depending on your state and severity of offense. Your device will lock out when you have surpassed your restricted drive time. You are not allowed to retest to continue driving.

Service Lockout

Be sure to make your recalibration appointments. If you do not, you will get a service lockout. It is important to pay attention to the LED on your ignition interlock. When your LED has a display that you need to service your car, a number will appear. This is the number of hours you have to get your car serviced until your device will lock you out. If you do get locked out, you will need to contact your service center to be able to drive again.

Violations Lockout

You will get a violation lockout after losing your last violation and exceeding the allowed lockout grace period. As your technician explained, you get a violation by having a high concentration of alcohol on your breath, amongst other actions (i.e. circumventing the interlock.) Like a service lockout, you will see a number that shows how many hours you have left until you get locked out. Once your car is locked, you must contact your service provider for assistance.

Hopefully this clears up any confusion you might have had as an ignition interlock user. If you need any more help or have any questions about ignition interlocks, don’t hesitate to contact your service provider.

New Ignition Interlock Law in Connecticut

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Last week the state’s General Assembly approved a law that would require anyone arrested for a second DUI to install an ignition interlock. The law will go into effect January 1st, 2012.

If a Connecticut driver is arrested for a second DUI, he or she will have their license suspended for 45 days and be required to have an ignition interlock for one year.

Ignition Interlocks and Distracted Driving

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

DUI Attorney John Brangwin believes ignition interlock devices distract a driver from the road. However, it is unfair to imply that the interlock device itself increases the chances of danger on the road.

Attorney Brangwin wrote about a tragic accident caused by an interlock’s rolling retest in last week’s Wenatchee World. Apparently, an interlock user was ordered to take a rolling retest while he was on the road. However, the interlock distracted him and he ended up veering into a bus, killing his passenger.

This was a terrible tragedy and certainly a type of accident we’ve seen before except with other distractions (phone, food, makeup, etc.) However, why is it that for any other device (cellphone, makeup, etc.) the driver is at fault, but if it’s an IID the driver is using, it’s the fault of the ignition interlock and, ultimately, the law?

The accident Brangwin wrote about is certainly terrible and not anything I would wish upon even my worst enemy. However, it was the driver’s choice to take the rolling retest without pulling over. Furthermore, the driver chose to drink and drive in the first place!  As a blogger for this site, I’ve always encouraged drivers to pull over for rolling retests, as do many interlock manufacturers.

It’s a sad reality that many freak accidents happen on the road quite regularly. A driver can look away for one second and have his or her life taken away from them. Do the rolling retests on ignition interlocks cause a distraction leading to an accident? Yes. However, without ignition interlocks, let’s think about the greater number of preventable accidents that could possibly happen due to drinking and driving. The numbers and the logic speak for itself.

IID Users: Important Things to Remember When You Start Your Car

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Using an ignition interlock can definitely be a hassle when you’re on the go, but if you follow these simple pointers, you can get your car started and be on your way!

Make Sure There’s No Trace of Alcohol.

We all know that alcohol doesn’t just exist in alcoholic beverages. Cold medicines, mouthwashes, and even some foods contain tiny traces of alcohol that can give the ignition interlock a false read. If you have eaten anything or used a mouthwash that contains alcohol in it, be sure to wait about 15 minutes if you want to start your car. Also, it is a good idea to rinse your mouth out with water.  For a list of mouthwashes that contain no alcohol, check out this list.

Remember the Blow-Hum Technique.

If you’re in a rush, it may be easy to forget that you need to blow into the ignition interlock in a very specific way. Most people call it the Blow-Hum Technique. It’s a good idea to practice beforehand, so when you’re on the go, you don’t need to waste any time trying to blow into the interlock correctly.

Prepare for Rolling Retests.

Think about how long your drive is going to take to predetermine when the device will ask for a rolling retest. A responsible IID user will not let the rolling retests sneak up on them. When it is time to take a retest, you definitely don’t want to be caught off guard. You don’t want to panic while on the road and you should be ready to pull over if need be. Above all, be cognizant of your IID not just when you start your car but when you are on the road as well.

If you follow these tips, you will likely not run into any difficulty with your ignition interlock.

Have Fun This Memorial Day Weekend Without Alcohol!

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

If you have an ignition interlock, there are still ways to enjoy BBQs, parties, and general celebration this Memorial Day weekend.

Sure, it looks tempting to have a beer as you watch your friends and family drink and have a good time. However, it’s going to really suck at the end of the night when you want to go home and you can’t even start your car.

I did some research and found a bunch of recipes for some great non-alcoholic drinks. I picked out a few recipes that, to me, mimic the taste of an alcoholic beverage.

Don’t let those coolers of beer tempt you. If you’re responsible enough to install an ignition interlock, you’re responsible enough to make the right decision this weekend for a safe and happy holiday.

What Looks Good: Apple Citrus Refresher, Caboose Cooler, Cactus Juice Cocktail, Chocolate Cola Cooler, Cucumber Punch, Orange Cocktail, Pat Cocktail, Safe Sex on the Beach, Summertime Soda, Virgin Manhattan

What Looks Good: Afterglow, Apple Frazzle, Bog Punch, Ginger Peach Cocktail, Orange and Tonic, Pac Man, Rumless Ricky

What Looks Good: Apple Ginger Sparklers, Pink Grapefruit Margarita

Mocktail Recipes on

What Looks Good: Cardinal Punch, Cran Dandy Shandy, Green Lemonade, Sundowner

Ignition Interlocks’ Interesting Numbers

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

428,309,224- Number of alcohol-free starts, recorded by Smart Start

6,127,672 – Number of Alcohol starts prevented, recorded by Smart Start

1,000,000 – Number of vehicles with an ignition interlock if all states mandate the use of ignition interlock devices after a DUI arrest

150,000 – Number of DUI offenders within states that require mandatory car breathalyzers in their vehicles

10,000 – Number of lives purported by Consumer Affairs that could be saved if ignition interlocks were required by all 50 states

65 – Percent of alcohol violations reduced by repeat offenders with ignition interlock

40 – Percent of annual deaths caused by drinking and driving

13 – Number of states with mandatory ignition interlock laws

3 – Number of dollars a day a person would spend by installing an ignition interlock

2 –Number of states with no ignition interlock law (Alabama and South Dakota)

0 – Percent chance you’ll be arrested for another DUI if you install an ignition interlock