Smart Start just reached a couple of significant milestones this year.
One of them was reaching more than a million Ignition Interlock clients last month. Right afterward, we celebrated 25 years of saving lives and preventing drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.
Smart Start’s 25th anniversary included many team members, partners and supporters throughout the years. North Texas judges, attorneys, the Grapevine Police Department, and others were in attendance, as well as organizations such as the local and national Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) chapter members, and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR).
First, Smart Start’s executive team conducted tours around the building, showing our full-fledged Ignition Interlock and portable alcohol monitoring device services. From the Customer Care Center, to manufacturing, distribution, repair and other departments, attendees were shown how much time and resources Smart Start dedicates to their clients’ programs, from start to finish.
Following the tours, everyone regrouped to hear from our speakers.
We had the pleasure of seeing and hearing from Bettye Rodgers, co-founder of Smart Start, Colleen-Sheehey Church, MADD National President and Judge Brent Carr, Tarrant County Court Judge, who all made, and continue to make, a big impact in their positions to eliminate drunk driving.
Colleen Sheehey-Church looked at her Smart Start Ignition Interlock Device, then raised it and said:
I never thought I would cry over a device. I will cry over this [device] every time I see it.
After touring the building, Colleen learned from each department what the process is to provide a seamless program for clients. She then said how she was a proud owner of an Ignition Interlock.
It was a great honor to hear from all our speakers. Several quotes were made that resonated, and we’d like to share the remaining six below that defined Smart Start, and why we do what we do.
We had to come up with a name. And Jay’s philosophy has always been that you’ve got to have the name of a company that tells what you do. Well, we wanted to Separate Drinking From Driving. We didn’t care whether or not they drank, that was not our goal. The goal was to keep them out of the car or away from the steering wheel when they were drinking.
All these violent crashes that you stop with your Ignition Interlocks… You stop these [crashes] and save millions of people. Millions. And I can’t tell you, if everyone got to know who you are, what you do, it would save so many more and you could change the world. … Thanks to your work, thousands and thousands of other families don’t have to suffer like we did.
We’re constantly working to improve our service delivery to the end user. Smart Start has always been focused around taking care of the customer and treating them as a person, and not as an offender.
One very important pillar of our campaign to eliminate drunk driving is the Ignition Interlock Device. This little device … you have to know what a difference it makes. For the past 10 years, an Ignition Interlock has stopped a driver 2.3 million times from being able to start the car. I hope you know that Smart Start is making a difference.
I know that we can count on Smart Start to do many more great things in the future and have certainly been the industry standard today.
I would like to thank each and every one of you in this room for what you’ve done for two and a half decades. … Because of Smart Start, thousands of families were able to gather together this past weekend. They weren’t missing a family member who had been killed by a drunk driver, and that’s because Smart Start stopped that drunk driver from starting a car.
Smart Start is looking forward to continuing our mission of Setting the Standard in Alcohol Monitoring Technology® for the next 25 years, and beyond. With the help of our supporters and partners, we can continue to stop drunk driving, and save lives.