Can an Ignition Interlock or Breathalyzer detect Pot?

Can A Breathalyzer Detect Pot? We get asked many times whether or not our Ignition Interlock devices can detect marijuana.  The answer is no.  We cannot at this time detect anything other than products that contain alcohol.  Our devices are alcohol, as well as those used by law enforcement, are alcohol specific.  This means that they only detect the presence of alcohol.  Fuel cell devices are an advancement over the previous version which were sensor cell devices.  Fuel cell technology eliminate things such as cigarette smoke, chewing tobacco and spicy foods showing up as a “false positive” reading for alcohol.  The “false positive” reading has all but been eliminated with this newer technology. MarijuanaWhile our units cannot detect marijuana it does appear that there is now a roadside test for the presence of marijuana in a subjects saliva.  While you may not have smoked marijuana in the preceding hours before the roadside test, the presence of it in your system appears to be plenty to show that you are unable to or “perceived” to be unable to operate.  You can read the article by clicking here. Regardless of whether the individuals impairment is from a high reading of marijuana or not, in Kansas an “alcohol or drug related” conviction is enough to get you charge with DUI and most likely a license restriction to driving with an Ignition Interlock device on your vehicle.  If you fail to appeal your ALR, or Administrative License Revocation, with in around 15 days you will be required to have the Ignition Interlock device. Smart Start provide the best in Kansas Ignition Interlock devices.  Our office also provides services for Iowa Ignition Interlock as well as Nebraska Ignition Interlock.  Smart Start as a company provides locations all across the United States as well as many other countries.  Our devices are state of the art and provide easy, cost-effective programs to get you through this process.  We not only provide the device for you but we also will provide you with experts to take you all the way through the process.  If you are in Kansas, Nebraska or Iowa we will complete all your paperwork up front and get it ready for you to sign and take to get your license back. We also provide you with the same services at the end of the program, after reporting to the state on your behalf monthly at no additional charge.  This is just a value added service for using Smart Start for your Ignition Interlock needs. Call 1-866-747-8278 for all your Ignition Interlock questions or needs.  We provide answers to all your questions for no charge, we want to earn your business and will work hard for you!  You can also schedule online by clicking here.  We have locations all over Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa and can’t wait to serve you!


From Kansas Ignition Interlock:

Sen. John Rafferty proposes ignition interlocks for DUI offenders

A hearing on legislation introduced by one of Montgomery County’s state senators that would greatly expand the use of ignition interlocks in drunken driving cases will be held this week in Harrisburg.

The state Senate Transportation Committee, which is chaired by Sen. John Rafferty (R-44th Dist.) of Collegeville, will hold the hearing on Rafferty’s legislation, SB 1036, which would require all drivers convicted of the crime to install ignition interlocks in their automobile.

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, which named Rafferty as one of its 2013 Legislative Champions for introducing the bill, is urging residents to contact their representatives in Harrisburg to ask them to support the legislation.

“Currently, Pennsylvania law requires ignition interlocks only for repeat offenders,” said MADD President Jan Withers last week in an e-mail. “SB 1036 will strengthen the law to require ignition interlocks for first-time convicted drunk drivers with an illegal blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater for at least six months.”

Withers noted that 20 states have similar interlock laws in place. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, interlocks have been shown to reduce repeat offenses by 67 percent, compared to license suspension alone.

“States that are enforcing all-offender ignition interlock laws, such as Arizona and Oregon have seen a reduction in DUI deaths by 43 to 42 percent, largely due to these comprehensive laws requiring all drunk drivers to receive an interlock,” she said.

The law would do away with the current provision that requires only those convicted of drunken driving whose license is suspended for one year or more to install the devices. First-time DUI offenders face mandatory use of the devices if the legislation sponsored by Rafferty becomes law.

“This will prevent people who are pulled over and convicted of DUI from getting onto the highway again and be able to harm someone,” Rafferty said last fall. “I am hopeful this will awaken first offenders that they may have a problem.”

An ignition interlock is a small handheld breath-testing device that is installed into the steering column of a car. It requires an individual to provide a sober breath sample before the car’s ignition will function.

Random breath samples are also required periodically while the car is in motion to prevent a sober friend from starting the vehicle. Failure to provide a sample or a sample over a certain blood alcohol content (typically 0.03 percent) will result in the sounding of alarms.

The legislation has also drawn supported from county District Attorney Tom Hogan, whose office has taken an aggressive stand on repeat drunk driving offenders.

Rafferty’s senatorial district includes municipalities in Chester County from Coatesville to North Coventry and parts of Montgomery and Berks counties.

“Drunk driving offenders, and particularly recidivist offenders, are somebody’s death waiting to happen,” Hogan said in a statement Friday. “Tools like the ignition interlock will help us save lives. Drunk drivers will try to think up ways to get around the interlock device, but the game of adapting to stay one step ahead of criminals is the story of law enforcement.”

The Senate Transportation Committee hearing will be held Tuesday.

A similar bill has been introduced in the state House of Representatives.


From The Times Herald:

NHTSA wants states to require ignition interlocks for first-time drunken drivers

Washington — Ahead of the holiday season, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday urged all states to require first-time drunken driving offenders to use ignition interlocks that prevent them from operating their vehicles after drinking.

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said mandatory interlocks would “protect sober motorists and ensure that individuals convicted of drunk driving learn from their mistakes.”

All states make some use of ignition interlocks, which prevent cars from starting if the driver has been drinking. Twenty states and four California counties require the devices for all drivers convicted of driving drunk.

Michigan does not require interlocks for all first-time offenders, but they are mandatory for those convicted with high blood-alcohol levels — 0.17 or above — who seek a restricted license. Any driver in Michigan convicted twice or more of drunken or drugged driving within seven years must use the device if they seek to drive.

In Michigan, the interlocks keep the vehicle from starting if the blood-alcohol content is .025 or higher. The device also asks for random retests while the person is driving. If a driver fails three times while starting the car — or one time while driving or if the device detects tampering — it must be taken to a service center. If it is not, the vehicle will go into lock-out mode and can’t be driven. Any test failures will extend the amount of time drivers must use the devices.

Fred Woodhams, a spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State, said about 8,000 convicted drunken drivers must use the devices, and he said the number is rising. Last year, Michigan had more than 36,000 drunken driving convictions. Woodhams said the office is reviewing the federal guidelines and hasn’t taken a position on whether all motorists convicted of first-time drunken driving should be required to use them.

State lawmakers sent legislation this month to Gov. Rick Snyder to make the current interlock programpermanent. Initially, it was approved as a three-year pilot project.

“This program has been proven to help stop those with repeat DWI issues from committing further drunk driving offenses,” said Rep. Nancy Jenkins, R-Clayton. “By making this a permanent program, we can help to keep all Michigan motorists safer.”

Ignition interlocks typically cost about $75 to install, and drivers have to pay $50 to $75 a month in monitoring costs. Michigan doesn’t regulate the cost of the devices, but the law limits the amount that low-income drivers can be charged to $2 a day.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving strongly supports extending the use of interlocks.

MADD President Jan Withers noted that in 2012, drunken driving deaths rose for the first time in six years. “And,what is more alarming is that there was also a significant increase in drunk driving fatalities during the holiday season.”

In December 2012, 830 lives were lost nationwide in alcohol-related crashes. During the period of Dec. 21-26, 134 people died in drunken driving crashes. Additionally, over the New Year’s holiday, 140 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes.

“With the help of our law enforcement partners, we’re sending a message across the country today and throughout the holiday season: Drive sober or get pulled over,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

NHTSA has found that drivers with interlocks are 75 percent less likely to repeat the behavior than those who do not.

NHTSA is supporting the annual crackdown on drunken driving over the holiday season with a $7.5 million national advertising campaign. The agency’s message also will be featured in a new public service announcement featuring “RoboCop,” which is coming to theaters Feb. 12.

The agency and major automakers are supporting research aimed at passive alcohol detection systems that would one day prevent any intoxicated driver from starting a vehicle.

Court upholds ignition interlock after OWI-1st convictions

Wisconsin’s Court of Appeals has clarified that a driver convicted of his first state drunken driving offense can still be ordered to install an ignition interlock on his vehicle as part of the penalty.

Eric L. Seatz, of Cedarburg, was ticketed in Grafton in September 2012. He doesn’t dispute the legality of the stop or that he had a .13 blood acohol level.

But he appealed the ignition interlock requirement because it was technically a citation for first offense drunken driving.

He did have a prior offense, in Michigan in 1997. While it does not count toward making the Grafton stop a second, therefore criminal, offense in Wisconsin, it does count under a different Wisconsin statute in the sentencing rules that then require he install the ignition interlock, the Court of Appeals held on Wednesday.

The court affirmed the rulings of Ozaukee County municipal and circuit judges.
From the Milwaukee Wisconson Journal Sentinal:

Smart Start of California announces new locations

Friday, June 2, 2006


WOODLAND HILLS , Calif. — The California franchise of the nation’s largest ignition interlock device company, Smart Start, Inc., announces four new installation locations.

Smart Start, Inc. specializes in helping people throughout the nation to drive sober. Steve Rogers, the president of Smart Start of California, is thrilled to offer services to clients in the areas of Delano , Fresno , Salinas and San Jose .

“Now folks in these areas have convenient access to ignition interlock installation and calibration,” said Rogers . “We never want someone to lose driving privileges because they can’t get to an installation location.”

An ignition interlock device, which is installed on the steering column of a car, is a small breath-alcohol testing machine. The device will prevent the car from starting if the driver has a blood alcohol content above a certain limit.

The device can either be court-ordered or DMV-ordered for those arrested for DUI. Smart Start of California also operates a volunteer program for those who simply want to have an ignition interlock in place for their own safety or for the safety loved ones that are suspected of driving under the influence.

“We strive to help all people drive safely, regardless of their criminal records or driving history,” said Rogers .

Smart Start of California has 21 locations throughout the state.


For more information, contact Steve Rogers, 1-888-289-5669.

Smart Start of California makes Japanese television debut

Monday, October 2, 2006


WOODLAND HILLS, California — The California franchise of the nation’s largest ignition interlock device company, Smart Start, Inc., demonstrates the device on Runa Entertainment and NTV International Corporation for Japanese television.

Foreign interest in the ignition interlock devices, which are portable breath-alcohol testing machine installed on the steering column of a car, results from a recent increase in drunk driving arrests in Japan.

Marc Bergman, general manager of Smart Start of California, says that the technology Smart Start Inc. uses for the ignition interlock devices is also very interesting for the country. “The technology we use is state of the art,” says Bergman. “At the moment, we are the leaders when it comes to driving safely without alcohol.”

During the segment, Bergman and the news correspondents tested the machine’s reliability. “The journalists ingested alcohol and tested the machine. It worked, as predicted, with precision accuracy. Smart Start ignition interlock devices are reliable. The word is quickly spreading worldwide.”

The device prevents vehicles from starting if the driver has a blood alcohol content above a certain limit. In some instances, the device is court-ordered or DMV-ordered for those arrested for DUI. Smart Start of California also operates a volunteer program for those who simply want to have an ignition interlock in place for their own safety or for the safety loved ones that are suspected of driving under the influence.

Smart Start of California has more than 20 locations throughout the state

Back-Seat Driver: Blow-in-a-tube device may foil drunken drivers

This story is taken from Sacbee / News.

By Tony Bizjak –
Published 12:00 am PDT Monday, April 7, 2008

With drunken driving deaths in California rising, lawmakers and law enforcers are turning to a little black box as a weapon against drunken driving.

It’s called an ignition interlock device – basically, a breathalyzer with a tube you blow into.

Interlock devices, when installed on a dashboard, won’t allow a car to start if you have more than a tiny amount of alcohol in your breath.

This week, the California Highway Patrol, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and 10 legislators will present a bill to increase use of the interlock device.

Assembly Bill 2784 would require first-time drunken drivers to use the device for five months after conviction.

Currently, the first-timer loses his or her license for a month, then can only drive to work or alcohol treatment during the next five months.

Law officials say they aren’t fooled. A lot of those people use their car for other purposes, and more than a few still drink and drive.

Ignition interlock devices have been around a long time, but in California, they are only used occasionally on repeat drunken drivers.

The new bill brings ignition interlock front and center to the state’s war against drunken driving.

Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, said he likes the fact that the device disciplines a first-time offender – no drinking and driving – but allows him more freedom. “With interlock, you can drive anywhere you want,” as long as you don’t drink, he says.

“It protects the motoring public, it protects the individual, and it protects the individual’s family,” CHP Assistant Chief Scott Howland said.

But the device is not perfect.

Older interlocks can mistake turkey, some bread and even Altoids for alcohol. Newer ones don’t make those mistakes, manufacturers say.

Some people used to fool the device by blowing in compressed air. That doesn’t work with new models: With some, you need to inhale as well as exhale. In others, you have to hum while you exhale. The machine recognizes throat vibrations.

What about drunks who get someone else to blow for them?

CHP’s Howland says the problem is more imagined than real. If you are out drinking, the people with you often are drinking too, so they won’t be able to get the car started either.

If a companion is sober, Howland says, that brings up a logical question: Wouldn’t that person just drive instead of the drinker?

You’d hope so. Officers can cite a nondrinker if he blew into the breathalyzer for a drunken friend. Some breathalyzers now have cameras.

What if you start your car while sober, then drink as you drive? It turns out the pesky little machine doesn’t just test you once. Five minutes into your drive, and at irregular intervals afterward, it tests you again. If you fail, the black box records the failure. You’ll be nabbed later when officials download the recorder’s data.

What if you disconnect the box? Well, it records that too. State law requires people with mandated interlock devices to take them in to a certified shop every month or two for recalibration. The recorder info is checked, and authorities are notified of failures or tampering.

The boxes, Assemblyman Feuer says, are a technology whose time has come.

The trick, however, is figuring out what it will take to keep that person driving responsibly when the little black box is removed.

State lawmakers ponder requiring ignition interlocks for drunk-driving offenders

The devices currently are installed by court order. Alcohol trade groups say they’re an invasion of privacy.

By Ken Bensinger, Los Angeles – Times Staff Writer
Published May 24, 2008

Should convicted drunk drivers be forced to pass an alcohol breath test before starting their cars? Should everyone?

For more than 20 years, special breathalyzers — hard-wired to a car’s ignition to prevent the vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected — have been installed under judicial order in the cars of repeat, or especially egregious, alcohol offenders. But in the last few years, six states have passed laws that require the devices, called ignition interlocks, in the cars of everyone convicted of driving under the influence.

Now, several more states, including California, are considering making interlocks mandatory for all offenders. A bill could pass the state Assembly next week. And a group of automakers has launched a major project with the federal government to develop advanced technologies that could someday make alcohol detectors a standard feature in all cars.

Advocates of interlocks, particularly Mothers Against Drunk Driving, say the devices could reduce the nation’s estimated 17,000 annual alcohol-related automotive fatalities, and thereby ease the burden that drunk driving places on the nation’s criminal justice system.

“We would like to have all 50 states applying it for all convicted drunk drivers,” said MADD Chief Executive Chuck Hurley. He said there had been no significant drop in alcohol-related fatalities in more than a decade. “This is the best way of keeping alcohol off the road.”

Critics, led by the American Beverage Institute and lawyers specializing in DUI defense, contend that ignition interlocks aren’t as effective as claimed and are a burdensome invasion of privacy. The institute represents restaurants such as Outback Steakhouse and Chili’s.

This month, the beverage institute ran full-page ads in USA Today and the New York Times showing mug shots of celebrities convicted of drunk driving, including Lindsay Lohan and Kiefer Sutherland, saying that interlocks should be used only for “hard-core drunk drivers.”

“This is an effort to educate the public about the threat of universally mandated ignition interlocks,” said Sarah Longwell, managing director of the institute.

Her group worries that laws requiring the devices for all convicted drunk drivers would discourage consumers from having a drink at dinner, costing the restaurant industry untold sums of money.

(Other alcohol-related trade groups, including the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Assn., said they supported such devices. The Distilled Spirits Council said it was asked by the American Beverage Institute to participate in the current campaign but it declined.)

Beyond financial concerns, Longwell said, this is about individual liberties. “We’re trying to get people to look 10 years down the road and realize what this could mean.”

Susan Ferguson, program manager of the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, a five-year, $10-million project funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and automakers including Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Corp., said the research could very well mean alcohol detectors will become a standard option in every car.

To date, Ferguson said, no country has a universal ignition interlock mandate, and Sweden, the only one to attempt such a law, seems unlikely to get permission from the European Union.

“We don’t see any regulatory activity that would put this in all cars in the U.S.,” she said.

Instead, as-yet-undeveloped technologies, which could use retina scans or skin spectrometry, would be the kind of thing carmakers install as a non-mandated safety feature, like side air bags, and would be unnoticeable to the driver. However, once such a device is installed, its use probably would not be optional.

In the past, the public has been resistant to laws that require some safety equipment. In 1973, NHTSA promulgated a rule requiring the use of devices that would prevent cars from starting if the driver’s seat belt was not engaged. It was revoked amid public protest.

Last year Nissan Motor Co. revealed a concept car that incorporated an arrangement of alcohol sensors, including one built into the gearshift. “You wouldn’t even know it was there,” Ferguson said.

At the moment, that’s far from the case. As of August, there were 134,000 ignition interlocks employed in 45 states, a number that’s grown substantially since 2005, when New Mexico passed the first law mandating interlocks for first offenders.

The devices, manufactured by fewer than a dozen companies, are installed at the user’s expense and must be breathed into before the car can start.

The user leases the device for a monthly fee, typically about $65, and must take it to a technician every two months to get it recalibrated. The blood-alcohol sensitivity is generally set around 0.03%. That’s well below the legal limit of 0.08%; convicted drunk drivers are prohibited from driving with any alcohol in their blood.

If users don’t come in for device calibration, their car will eventually cease to start, even if they blow into the machine stone sober, said Corey Hickok, owner of ACS Interlock, a Santa Ana business that services the interlocks for about 300 customers every two months. And newer generations of interlocks prevent boozing on the road (or keeping the car idling in a bar parking lot) by requiring drivers to blow into the device at random times.

“It’s amazingly effective,” Hickok said.

Abram Garcia, director of operations for Smart Start Inc., which leases 30,000 interlock devices at a time, said his company had a new model that takes pictures of the driver breathing into the machine, saving the information on a chip, to prevent cheating. He estimates that the number of interlocks in the country could grow to 750,000 should all 50 states adopt laws requiring them for all DUI offenders.

California’s proposed law, which unanimously passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Thursday, is aimed at reducing the 1,300 alcohol-related fatalities on the state’s roads each year. It’s considered likely to pass the full chamber next week.

One opponent, Joshua Dale, executive director of the California DUI Lawyers Assn., says the statistics are far from clear on whether laws that require interlocks for first offenders actually reduce fatalities. “We’re probably going to see that cellphones cause more deaths than drunk drivers,” he said.

CHP Commissioner & MADD National CEO Support Anti-Drunk Driving Legislation

California Political Desk
April 10, 2008

LOS ANGELES, CA- Assemblymember Mike Feuer was joined by California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joe Farrow and MADD National CEO Chuck Hurley to support critical anti-drunk driving legislation than reduce the number of drunk driving deaths on California’s roadways. AB 2784 (Feuer) would require all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders, to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) on their vehicles. Following the news conference there was a live demonstration of the technology.

An IID is a breath test device linked to a vehicle’s ignition system. When a driver wishes to start his or her vehicle, he or she must first blow into the device, but the vehicle will not start unless the driver’s alcohol level is below the limit of .08.

“The development of the ignition interlock device has made drunk driving increasingly preventable,” said Assemblymember Feuer. “California must become a national leader in the fight against drunk driving by passing comprehensive interlock legislation.”

In 2006, drunk drivers killed nearly 1,300 people in California. IIDs are proven to save lives, but it is estimated that only one out of eight convicted drunk drivers each year currently has an interlock on their vehicle. While current DUI laws in California require IIDs for those convicted of driving on a DUI-suspended license, the use of these lifesaving devices in California is limited and discretionary.

“Far too often, law enforcement officers stop DUI drivers only to learn it’s not their first offense. It’s time we stop this cycle,” said California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Ignition interlock devices will prevent drivers from starting a car if they have any measurable amount of alcohol in their system. By preventing drunk drivers from getting on the road, we know we can save innocent people from being injured or killed.”

Four states, including New Mexico, Arizona, Illinois, have already passed legislation that requires IIDs for all convicted drunk drivers – and twelve more states are considering similar legislation this year’s legislative session. In New Mexico, there has already been a 25 percent decrease in fatalities from drunk driving since its IID law was implemented just a few years ago.

“We know that this technology works,” said Chuck Hurley, National CEO of MADD. “Now we need to implement these advances on our roads, every day in every state across the nation. Too many drunk driving offenders are back on the road, and it is our duty to ensure that they do not risk the lives of others and that they only drive while sober.”

AB 2784 passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee yesterday with a vote of 6:1. It will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

DUI car locks could be coming to California

By Ron Naso
Published 8:58 am PDT Sunday, May 25, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — A vote on ignition interlock devices goes before the Assembly in Sacramento this week. The special breathalyzers are nothing new in other states, but if passed this week in the Assembly, and approved by the Governor, it’s a first for California.

Matthias Mendezona, the executive director of California’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving says there are too many DUI related accidents resulting in death.

“It is preventable, we can use research and technology to make this work, and that’s the logic behind it,” said Mendezona.

However, The American Beverage Institute views the DUI locks much differently.

“Once these are in all cars they’re going to be set much, much lower than .08, so it is going to effectively eliminate somebody’s ability to have a glass of wine with dinner, or a beer at a ball game and then drive home,” said Sarah Longwell, managing director of the ABI.

Assembly Bill 2784 would require all convicted drunk drivers, including those facing their first conviction, to install an interlock on their vehicle for a specified period of time in order to have their license reinstated.