NEWS: France’s Drunk Driving Laws Will Expand Use of Ignition Interlocks

France’s drunk driving laws are about to change, and one of the changes involves expanding Ignition Interlock requirements for drink driver repeat offenders. *

* In the U.S., every state uses its own acronym for driving intoxicated, such as DUI or DWI. Some European countries refer to such offenders as drink drivers.

Strengthening Ignition Interlock Laws in France

Alcohol is linked to about 19 percent of fatal accidents in France. Now, offenders who are convicted of drink driving a second time will need to use an Ignition Interlock, or vehicle breathalyzer. Ignition Interlocks prevent drivers from starting their vehicle if their breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) is above a pre-set limit. If their BrAC is below the fail set point on the device, their vehicle will start.

In France, Ignition Interlocks, or EADs (éthylotests antidémarrages), are a requirement for coaches and buses. It is also an option for drivers who have had their license suspended for drink driving but want to continue to drive.

Ignition Interlock Laws

Ignition Interlock laws in the U.S. vary by state, but all-offender requirements are the most effective, according to multiple studies. This law reduces recidivism in repeat offenders, and also lowers drunk driving deaths.

With France’s stronger Ignition Interlock and drunk driving laws, the country will save more lives and have safer roads.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start can you get back on the road again as the worldwide provider of Ignition Interlocks. If you are in the U.S. and need to install an Ignition Interlock, call our Customer Care Center at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

I Need Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance in South Carolina!

Do you need Ignition Interlock financial assistance in South Carolina? The state may be able to assist you if you qualify for their Ignition Interlock Device Fund. The indigent program for Ignition Interlock clients is run by the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (SCDPPPS).

Ignition Interlock Device Fund in South Carolina

When you must install an Ignition Interlock, you also need to pay a $30 fee to the state. This accrual of fees represents the Ignition Interlock Device fund for those who need Ignition Interlock financial assistance in South Carolina.

How Do I Apply for Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance in South Carolina?

Here’s the steps to complete your request to receive financial assistance from the South Carolina Ignition Interlock Device fund.

  • First, submit Form 1307, the financial assessment form (you can view and download the form on SCDPPPS’ website)
  • Provide any supporting documents
  • The state will verify your reported income and expenses. They may also review your debts, assets, number of dependents claimed for tax purposes, and your family situation

Finally, the SCDPPS will review all your submitted materials using national poverty guidelines. If you are eligible for financial assistance, some of the fees in your Ignition Interlock program will be discounted.

If you have any questions about South Carolina’s Ignition Interlock program, Smart Start’s Customer Care Center can help at (800) 831-3299.

Need an Ignition Interlock in South Carolina?

Smart Start is the ultimate Ignition Interlock provider in South Carolina. We offer an affordable program, a reliable device and a 24/7/365 Customer Care Center standing by to assist you. Call Smart Start for a quote and an installation appointment at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

STUDY: New Report Wants to Reach Zero Drunk Driving Deaths

A new report by a science panel wants to eliminate drunk driving by raising taxes on alcohol purchases, lowering the legal BAC limit to .05 instead of .08, and enacting all-offender Ignition Interlock laws.

The report, Getting to Zero Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities, says there are more alcohol-impaired driving deaths per year than deaths related to certain cancers, HIV/AIDS and drownings. Since 1982, one-third of all traffic fatalities have been related to alcohol.  Despite years of progress, alcohol-impaired driving remains the deadliest and costliest danger on U.S. roads.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) created the report with support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The report addresses all sectors involved with drunk driving laws, such as state, federal and local governments, municipalities, health care systems, and others. A couple of their calls to action include more DWI Courts and all-offender laws for Ignition Interlocks.

Mandatory Ignition Interlocks in All States

All-offender Ignition Interlock laws are currently in 30 states, D.C. and four counties in California. Every state has some form of Ignition Interlock law, but the most effective, according to multiple studies, are all-offender. This means anyone arrested for DUI or DWI at a BAC level of .08 needs to install an Ignition Interlock in their vehicle.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) also supports all-offender Ignition Interlock laws in their annual reports to the states to improve drunk driving laws. Given the unfortunate rise in drunk driving deaths, Ignition Interlocks are needed now more than ever on our roadways.

Lowering the BAC Level to .05

The report also calls for all states to lower per se BAC levels to .05. Currently, only Utah has passed legislation to make a .05 BAC limit and won’t be effective until December 2018. All other states have .08 as the BAC limit.

NASEM suggests the federal government incentivize this change to state governments, and create robust media campaigns and enforcement efforts.

Raising Alcohol Taxes and Strengthening Prevention of Illegal Alcohol Sales

The report also recommended states increase their alcohol taxes and make alcohol less convenient to obtain. They propose doing this by reducing the hours and days alcohol is sold in bars, restaurants and stores. NASEM also proposes stronger laws and enforcement to stop illegal alcohol sales, such as to minors or to adults who are already intoxicated.

NASEM is also asking health care systems and health insurers to “cover and facilitate effective evaluation, prevention and treatment strategies for binge drinking and alcohol use disorders.” This could include screening, brief intervention, referral to treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy and medication-assisted therapy.

With this report, and others, publishing year after year urging stakeholders to take precedence on strengthening drunk driving laws, local and federal entities alike can make changes to current laws that leaves a safer place for all.

Enacting all-offender Ignition Interlock laws in all 50 states, and the possible push for other measures NASEM outlines, we could see a safer future on our roadways.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start can get you back on the road quickly with a reliable device and 24/7/365 customer service. Call our Customer Care Center to schedule an appointment today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

Why Are There so Many Ignition Interlock Vendors? How Do I Choose the Right One?

If you need an Ignition Interlock, you may be wondering about the vendors who supply them to you. If there’s multiple vendors in one state, it could seem overwhelming to decide which vendor is best. In California for example, there are over 20 Ignition Interlock vendors available.

State-Certified Ignition Interlock Vendors

Here’s the truth. Not all vendors are created the same, and not all are state-certified. If the vendor you choose, such as the mom-and-pop vendor that boasts low costs, is not certified by the state, your time with their Ignition Interlock will not count toward your required Ignition Interlock period. You may even receive additional penalties. Plus, without a reliable device or without 24/7 customer service, your Ignition Interlock vendor is leaving you stranded with no help when you need it the most.

Choose the Right Ignition Interlock Vendor

When you research, make sure your choice provides the right program for you that will count toward your Ignition Interlock requirements. On your Ignition Interlock oversight agency’s website, they will usually provide a list of state-certified providers. Once you have this list, you should visit each of their websites and compare them to see which vendor will work best for you. Make sure you have a list of questions to ask each Ignition Interlock vendor, such as hidden fees, long-term contracts or number of service locations in your area.

Smart Start has been a provider of full-fledged, state and federal-certified Ignition Interlocks since 1992. Robust technology, a customer care team standing by to assist, and plenty of service locations is the kind of program Smart Start promises.

It pays off to choose the stoplight. Smart Start’s assisted over a million Ignition Interlock clients who needed to get back on the road, and we can assist you.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Choose Smart Start, the worldwide provider of Ignition Interlocks. Wherever you are in the U.S., we provide fair pricing, reliable devices and 24/7/365 customer service. Call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form to get back on the road.

How Has Ignition Interlock Technology Advanced Over the Years?

Ignition Interlocks haven’t always been the reliable technology it is today. Like a lot of revolutionary products, it took some trial and error to come to the current Ignition Interlock Device.

So, how did it all start? What happened to make Ignition Interlocks what they are today?

The Taguchi Gas Sensor

Older Ignition Interlocks had a different sensor in them versus the one used now.

The Taguchi gas sensor or T-cell, named after Naoyoshi Taguchi, could detect natural gas, which means it could tell when gas was present even if it was odorless. These sensors also detected alcohol.

Ignition Interlocks with T-cell sensors were solid and jump-started the industry, but there were still some hiccups in the device’s design where users could circumvent or bypass their breath tests. In addition, the test patterns were blow-only and had no anti-circumvention features. This also allowed “curb side service”, a term that refers to an intoxicated driver finding a sober person to blow into the device for them.

Smart Start’s founders recognized this, and in 1992, Smart Start was created to provide more reliable Ignition Interlocks.

Now, the Ignition Interlock industry uses alcohol-specific fuel cell technology to maintain utmost accuracy with breath tests. Rolling retests were also incorporated under federal Ignition Interlock standards in 1992 to combat bypassing attempts like “curb side service.”

Breath Test Patterns in Ignition Interlocks

In the late 80s and early 90s, various breath patterns were introduced for Ignition Interlocks.

The breath test patterns were learned. The patterns required the user to blow, then pause, and then repeat this process a couple times. This pattern’s goal was to deter someone other than the intended user to use the device and test it.

A couple other advancements happened during this time. Temperature and pressure sensors were developed and used to determine a human versus a non-human providing a sample into the device.

Advanced anti-circumvention features today include humidity sensors and the requirement to “hum” while blowing. This technology is designed to ensure a human is delivering the breath sample.

Other Features to Ignition Interlock Technology

Advanced anti-circumvention features today include other breath test patterns such as blow-hum or straight hum. Cameras have become standard equipment on Ignition Interlocks, and identify the person delivering the breath sample.

Ignition Interlocks are an effective tool against drunk driving. In multiple studies, it’s been proven that all-offender Ignition Interlock laws reduce recidivism in offenders and reduce drunk driving fatalities. With strong state Ignition Interlock laws and technology, we can only see a safer future on our roadways.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

When Do I Need an Ignition Interlock in North Carolina?

You may need an Ignition Interlock in North Carolina if you are convicted or arrested for DWI. Below are different cases where an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is mandatory in North Carolina. When you need to choose an Ignition Interlock vendor to fulfill your requirements, Smart Start can help with a reliable device, and get you back on the road.

 RecordLicense RevocationWhen Smart Start Can HelpIgnition Interlock Requirement
First DWI Conviction

(No prior conviction within 7 years of the most recent DWI offense date)

First DWI conviction and a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or more1 yearWhen eligible, after 45 days from your date of conviction, you may obtain a Limited Driving Privilege (LDP). If you have an IID in your vehicle, OR at the end of one year, you become immediately eligible for a license with an IID1 year. For the use of an IID with an LDP, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will issue you a credit toward 1 year
1 Prior Conviction

(Within 7 years of your most recent DWI offense date)

1 prior conviction that occurred within 3 years4 yearsWith an IID, no conviction for a motor vehicle offense, and 12 months’ abstaining from alcohol, you can apply for a conditional restored license after 2 years have elapsed from date of conviction3 years**
1 prior conviction that occurred more than 3 years earlier, and within 7 years of your most recent DWI offense date1 year – You won’t be eligible for an LDPAfter 1 year from date of conviction, you receive immediate eligibility for a license with an IID1 year

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Prior Convictions

(Within 7 years of the most recent DWI offense date)

If on the date you were charged with your most recent DWI charge, you had 2 prior convictions that occurred within 5 yearsRevocation is permanentWith no other violations, and if you successfully used Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) for 120 days without alcohol use, then you can apply for a restored license with IID conditions in 3 years

 

If you successfully used CAM for 1 year without alcohol use, then you can apply for a restored license with IID conditions in 2 years

7 years**
If on the date you were charged with your most recent DWI charge, you had 2 prior convictions that occurred within 7 years, but do not have (1) conviction within 3 years OR (2) within 5 years1 year – You won’t be eligible for an LDPAfter 1 year, you’ll be immediately eligible for a license with an IID1 year

 

 RecordLicense RevocationHow Smart Start Can HelpIgnition Interlock Requirement
DWI convictions and punished under N.C.G.S. § 20-179 (f3)

(Laura’s Law)

Punished for DWI at aggravated level (1)Permanent revocationWith no other violations and if you successfully use Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) for 120 days without alcohol use, then you can apply for a restored license with IID conditions in 3 years

 

If you successfully use CAM for 1 year without alcohol use, then you can apply for a restored license with IID conditions in 2 years

5-7 years**
Felony DWI3 or more convictions within 10 years of most recent DWI chargePermanent revocationWith an IID, no conviction for a motor vehicle offense for 10 years, and not an excessive user of alcohol, you can apply for a conditionally restored license after 10 years has elapsed*5-7 years**
Vehicular homicide conviction based upon DWIConvicted of DWI in a crash that caused the death of anotherPermanent revocationWith an IID, no conviction for a motor vehicle offense for 5 years, and not an excessive user of alcohol or drugs, you can apply for a conditionally restored license after 5 years has elapsed*5-7 years**
Felony with serious injury

 

Serious injury caused in a crash and driver was DWI4 yearsWith an IID, no conviction for a motor vehicle offense, and 12 months’ abstaining from alcohol, you can apply for a conditional restored license after 2 years has elapsed*2-3 years**
 

Felony with aggravated serious injury

 

 

 

 

Felony aggravated serious injury is serious injury caused by an impaired driver and the driver had a prior conviction within 7 years

 

 

Permanent revocation

 

 

With no other violations, and if you successfully use Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) for 120 days without alcohol use, then you can apply for a restored license with IID conditions in 3 years

 

If you successfully use CAM for 1 year without alcohol use, then you can apply for a restored license with IID conditions in 2 years

 

 

 

7 years**

 

* Elapsed time starts from date of conviction. The law may impose other requirements such as a substance abuse assessment and treatment or education, valid automobile insurance, payment of fees, etc.

** The DMV may impose an IID as a requirement for the conditionally restored driver’s license for up to 5 years under G.S. § 20-19(e3). However, G.S. § 20-17.8 may control. When G.S. § 20-17.8 applies, if you had a BAC of 0.15 or more, an IID is required for 3 years when the revocation period was originally 4 years.


If you have any questions about your Ignition Interlock program, Smart Start is here to help. Our Customer Care Center stands by 24/7/365 for our clients. Just call (800) 831-3299 and a Customer Care agent will assist you.

Need an Ignition Interlock in North Carolina?

Smart Start can help you get back on the road quickly. We provide an affordable program, a reliable, 24/7/365 customer service team and an easy-to-use Ignition Interlock. Make sure to ask about any current state specials or discounts! Schedule an appointment with North Carolina’s Ignition Interlock of choice today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

A DWI and Probation: What You Need to Know!

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: Mark Stodola, American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) Fellow

If you have been convicted of a DWI and your sentence includes supervised probation, there are important things you need to know.

First of all, you are not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of individuals who must be on some sort of community supervision as part of their DWI conviction, and probation orders can vary. They can be from a directive that simply orders you to complete certain conditions, to meeting with an officer monthly or even weekly, participating in intensive treatment and/or a DWI Court, or complying with the requirements of an Ignition Interlock Device.

The good news is the majority of sentenced individuals successfully complete their term of probation.  For you to be successful, here are some things to consider.

  • Probation is Serious Business

The Court has placed you on community supervision in lieu of a sentence to jail or prison.  This is an opportunity to address those behaviors that led to your arrest. The expectation is that you successfully fulfill your term of probation or the incarceration can still be imposed.

  • Probation is an Opportunity

Your supervising officer makes sure that you are accountable and fulfill your terms of probation. While protection of the community is of paramount importance, their job is to also provide you with the resources to help change your behaviors so that your last DWI conviction is your last DWI conviction. These resources may include drug, alcohol or mental health treatment, or classes that help you consider those behaviors that lead to your arrest. Your officer knows what resources are available in your community and can help determine which one is most appropriate for you. This is your opportunity to take advantage of these resources.

  • Probation Can Be Hard Work

The probation requirements that the court has placed on you may feel challenging, especially when you have work and family commitments. Make sure you completely understand your court requirements. Ask, don’t assume!  Let your officer know if you are having issues with complying. They want you to be successful.

Perhaps the hardest part of probation will be for you to address those behaviors that led to your getting arrested for driving under the influence. An honest self- assessment takes courage and honesty, but the end result is that it can change your life and the lives of your loved ones.  You can do it!

Mark Stodola, APPA Fellow

 

 

Mark Stodola, APPA Fellow

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Count on Smart Start to get you back on the road with a reliable Ignition Interlock. Call our Customer Care Center and ask about any current specials in your state at (800) 831-3299. You can also fill out our short online form.

What if My Family Member Passed Away and They Had an Ignition Interlock?

If a family member passed away and they had an Ignition Interlock in their vehicle, you may be wondering what the next steps are. What happens, and how do you get the device removed?

First off, we don’t want you to worry. There are many things you are probably taking care of during this time. Removing your family member’s Ignition Interlock will not be one of them.

Smart Start is available to help our clients and their family members through any part of their program. Our Customer Care team will be able to assist and walk you through next steps when you call us at (800) 831-3299.

Ignition Interlock Removal Process

The device removal process varies by state or even by county in a situation where an Ignition Interlock client passes away. However, in most cases, we will need to provide your passing family member’s death certificate to their Ignition Interlock oversight agency or court. Then, the agency or court can authorize the removal of our Ignition Interlock.

Once we have authorization, the removal process can begin. On the blog, we have listed the process by state so you know exactly what to do.

Smart Start Ignition Interlock Removal Series

Part 1: A general Ignition Interlock removal guide

Part 2: The proper removal process for your Interlock program broken down by state: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida and Georgia

Part 3: Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine and Maryland

Part 4: Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey

Part 5: New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina

Part 6: South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming

We hope we have helped alleviate some of your worries during this time. As always, if you need more assistance or clarification on what to do, Smart Start’s Customer Care Center is available at (800) 831-3299.

Do You Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start will get you back on the road if you need to install an Ignition Interlock. Call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

What if I Need to Leave My Vehicle But Have an Ignition Interlock in It?

If you need to leave your vehicle for a while but you have an Ignition Interlock installed, such as military deployment, you may be wondering what to do. Or if you are a family member, you may need to know what to do with your loved one’s Ignition Interlock in their vehicle.

There is not one answer since these certain rules differ from state to state but can also vary by your county. It makes a difference whether the type of state you are in is an administrative, judicial or hybrid Ignition Interlock state.

Ignition Interlock State Laws if I Must Leave My Vehicle for a Long Period

Depending on where you live, you may be able to either:

  • Continue with your Ignition Interlock program;
  • Pick up where you left off when you return; or
  • Have the device removed with proper approval.

For some cases, it is possible that a family member or spouse can bring your vehicle with the Ignition Interlock installed to our service center for regular services such as calibration appointments.

In some states, your monitoring authority must contact our Customer Care Center for device removal authorization. After the removal authorization is processed by our team, you can then call Smart Start to schedule a removal appointment. Or you can approve a family member or spouse to do this for you.

Please keep in mind that you cannot drive a vehicle without an Ignition Interlock if you must use one!

Our Customer Care Center is always standing by and ready to assist. If you ever have any questions during your Smart Start Ignition Interlock program, call our team at (800) 831-3299.

Need an Ignition Interlock Installation?

Smart Start can provide a reliable Ignition Interlock with fair prices, many locations and 24/7/365 customer service. Call today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

Need Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance in Nebraska?

If you’re eligible, you could receive Ignition Interlock financial assistance in Nebraska during your required program period. An applicant needs to meet 150 percent or less of the federal poverty guidelines, but the state will review all your financial details.

What Does the Nebraska Ignition Interlock Indigent Fund Cover for Me?

The Nebraska Ignition Interlock Indigent fund is overseen by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you qualify, the state’s funds will cover your Ignition Interlock installation, your device removal and monthly monitoring costs.

How Do I Apply for the Nebraska Ignition Interlock Indigent Fund?

Fill out Nebraska’s indigent Ignition Interlock form to be considered for eligibility to their indigent fund. The form will ask for your household income, other monthly income, liquid assets, and more to determine your eligibility. You should also submit any additional documentation they need to review with your form.

Below is Nebraska DMV’s address to send your Ignition Interlock Indigent Form.

Department of Motor Vehicles
PO BOX 94877
Lincoln NE
68509 4877

Or you can fax your form to the DMV at 402-471-8288.

Apply for your Ignition Interlock Permit (IIP)

Once you are approved from the DMV for indigency status, you need to apply for your Ignition Interlock Permit, or IIP. To apply for your IIP, here’s what you need to do.

  • Install your Ignition Interlock from a state-approved provider, such as Smart Start. Make sure you bring the supporting documents from the DMV that shows approval for Ignition Interlock financial assistance.

  • Fill out your IIP application and then send it to the DMV, or fill it out online.
  • Provide your installation certificate to the DMV with your IIP application. Your vendor will provide this to you after installation, or you can opt for your vendor to email or fax the certificate to the DMV. To make this process easier, Smart Start will gladly do this service for you!

Finally, it should take about 10 days for your IIP to be issued to you from the DMV.

As the worldwide provider of Ignition Interlocks, Smart Start is here to help you with your program. If you have any questions about your Smart Start Ignition Interlock program, call our team at (800) 831-3299.

Ignition Interlock Indigent Programs by State

Need an Ignition Interlock in Nebraska?

Smart Start is a certified Ignition Interlock provider in Nebraska with a reliable device and 24/7/365 customer service. Make sure to ask about any current state specials or discounts! Call today to schedule your install appointment and receive a quote at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.