Are More Drunk Driving Arrests Being Made During the Holidays? Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

There’s a higher percentage of drunk driving arrests throughout the U.S. because of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. The increase of local law enforcement and sobriety checkpoints prove to be an effective deterrent against drunk driving crashes, injuries or deaths. It’s also zero-tolerance for drunk driving, which is cause for an immediate arrest.

And strict enforcement appears to be working, too.

Maryland’s Drunk Driving Arrests Increase

Take Maryland for example, which is one of the many states that took part in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s campaign.

Nearly 200 impaired drivers were arrested during the holiday season from December 23, 2017 to January 1, 2018. 10,000 traffic stops were made from state troopers with 264 arrests, with 183 of those connected to impaired driving. Troopers also issued more than 6,500 citations and more than 7,500 warnings.

The numbers are staggering, which means the increase in enforcement is working. Effective strategies such as heightened law enforcement and strong drunk driving laws in place can bring down the unfortunate number of drunk driving deaths that’s been on the rise in the U.S. since 2015.

Alternative Solutions Other Than Drunk Driving

Another strategy is to bring more public awareness to alternative solutions rather than getting behind the wheel impaired, such as appointing a designated driver or using a ridesharing app.

Voluntary Ignition Interlock Device in Vehicle

Voluntary Ignition Interlock Devices can also be an effective tool to ensure no one is starting their vehicle drunk. The Ignition Interlock Device is a vehicle breathalyzer that can show if someone is too impaired to drive. Many vendors provide their Ignition Interlock Devices as an option to those who can benefit from it by having one in their car, such as college and high school students, or someone whose had prior impaired driving convictions.

Get on the Road Safely

Need an Ignition Interlock Device? Choose Smart Start, the worldwide provider. Call our Customer Care Center at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our online form.

An Increase of Drunk Driving During the 2017 Holidays? Plan to Drive Sober

Make your Christmas merry and bright this year by not making the decision to drink and drive.

Holiday Drunk Driving Statistics (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s)

During the holidays, between Thanksgiving Eve and New Year’s Eve, drunk driving crashes rise. And it never relents year after year. In 2016 during the month of December alone, 781 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver. And four out of 10 highway deaths around the holiday are due to drunk driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) releases holiday safety campaigns against drunk driving every year, such as Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.

NHTSA Holiday Drunk Driving Prevention Campaigns

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over creates more awareness ever year about enhanced law enforcement with sobriety checkpoints during the holidays. This year, the campaign will last until New Year’s Day. If law enforcement catches someone drinking and driving, the driver will be pulled over and arrested.

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving reminds everyone that drinking and driving is a dangerous combination. Alcohol affects everyone in different ways, but there’s no denying that even one drink could cause impairment behind the wheel.

Make a Plan Before Your Christmas and Holiday Events

When you think you’re OK to drive after a drink or two at your holiday party, think again. Have a plan in place before you even arrive at the party to have a designated driver or a rideshare app like Lyft on your phone. NHTSA also has a safety app named SaferRide that allows you to call a taxi or a predetermined friend on your smartphone.

Let’s change the statistics and make our roadways safer so everyone gets home to their families this holiday season. Smart Start hopes you have a safe and happy holiday!

Install the Most Reliable Ignition Interlock Device with Smart Start

If you need an Ignition Interlock because of a court and/or state requirement, choose Smart Start. We are the nationwide provider of Ignition Interlocks with a discreet device and 24/7/365 customer service, even during weekends and holidays. Call our Customer Care Center at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

Holiday Drunk Driving Prevention Tips: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 2017 Winter Campaign

The winter campaign for Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is next week, and we want to provide you with holiday drunk driving prevention tips to avoid a sometimes-fatal decision to drink and drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s communication resource, Traffic Safety Marketing, is urging drivers to stay safe this holiday season by not driving drunk. Many local law enforcement agencies are participating in the enforcement campaign throughout the U.S. with various plans such as sobriety checkpoints and an increase in patrols looking for drunk drivers. If they suspect a drunk driver, they will pull them over, test them and automatically arrest them.

Holiday Drunk Driving Fatalities

According to NHTSA, nearly 37,500 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2016. A staggering 28 percent of those fatalities involved crashes with a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at .08, the legal limit. In another study, drunk driving deaths have increased for the second year in a row.

Every year during the holiday season, between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, there’s an even greater number of deaths because of drunk driving. For the month of December alone, 781 people lost their lives in drunk driving-related crashes. The rise in this dangerous behavior is because more drivers are on the road and there are more drinks to be had from the holidays.

Don’t let yourself, or a friend or family member, be at risk this holiday season.

Holiday Drunk Driving Prevention Tips

Remember to:

  • Designate a sober driver in your group to ensure you’re getting home safely.
  • Use a ride sharing service, such as a tax or Uber/Lyft. A few dollars out of your wallet is a better alternative than driving drunk in your car, which could cause severe consequences.
  • Look for public transportation as an alternative, such as bus, train, etc.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will be from December 13 to the 31st.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start will get you back on the road quickly and safely. Call our Customer Care Center at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

Are You Ready for December’s National Impaired Driving Prevention Month?

Impaired driving is on an unfortunate rise in the U.S. Drunk driving fatalities specifically have increased for the past two consecutive years.

That’s why various organizations have designated December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month to promote more awareness about stopping this dangerous behavior. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) take this time of year to urge everyone to celebrate safely this holiday season. They are also urging local elected officials to look at what’s working, such as DWI Courts and supervising technology, to combat impaired driving.

Best Practices to Combat Impaired Driving

National Impaired Driving Month every year addresses the root problem for repeat offenders and high blood alcohol content drivers, which is addiction. They make sure that everyone should be aware of best practices in combating these unfortunate choices, especially elected officials who can improve DWI/DUI programs in their area. For example, the campaign’s members work to enhance DWI Courts, which have been proven to be a great success in the treatment for those who must attend them.

DWI Courts can save lives by promoting a long-term recovery plan from alcohol and drug addiction. There are currently 726 DWI Courts throughout the U.S. that help those who need to attend through treatment, close supervision and accountability. In fact, DWI Courts have reduced recidivism by 60 percent since its inception.

Methods to Reduce Impaired Driving Deaths

The National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR) also promote best practices in reducing impaired driving deaths.

Several methods they recommend to courts include:

  • Screen and assess all driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenders
  • Expand and improve DWI Courts
  • Increase evidence-based supervision technology

The third tactic includes Ignition Interlocks, which are car breathalyzers for some people convicted of a DUI. All-offender Ignition Interlock laws have been proven to reduce recidivism rates. There are currently 30 states and D.C who implement this type of Ignition Interlock law.

Ignition Interlocks can keep roads safe, but they must be more active in states and counties that have lax Ignition Interlock laws. Smart Start joins these organizations to promote National Impaired Driving Prevention Month in the hopes to raise awareness, and see a safer future on our roads.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start can get you back on the road quickly. Call our Customer Care Center at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our online form.

2017 Thanksgiving Weekend: Stay Safe on the Road

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest times of the year on U.S. roadways. People are visiting families and friends for the holiday, which means more vehicles on the highway.

This traffic increase during Thanksgiving weekend can unfortunately lead to the possibility of a crash because of drunk driving. In fact, Thanksgiving has become one of the deadliest times of the year. “Thanksgiving Eve,” the Wednesday before, is one of the year’s biggest drinking days.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging drivers to stay safe on Thanksgiving.

In 2012 according to NHTSA’s data, there were 764 traffic fatality crashes during Thanksgiving. At least 40 percent, or around 300, of those passengers killed were involved with drunk drivers. Christmas that year had 654 traffic fatality crashes.

Plan Ahead for Thanksgiving Weekend

This Thanksgiving weekend, make sure to have a game plan for any situation involving alcohol. Understand your limits, and if you plan on drinking heavily, have a ridesharing app such as Lyft on your phone. Or designate a friend to take you home from the party.

Smart Start hopes you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start can help you get back on the road with the most reliable Ignition Interlock. Even if you’re calling on a holiday, our team will be standing by to assist you, whether it’s for an install appointment or questions, at any time.

Keep in mind that our Customer Care Center is open 24/7/365, but our service shops may have holiday hours! Your Smart Start agent will be able to let you know your nearest service shop’s hours.

To schedule an Ignition Interlock installation appointment, call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our online form.

Are More People Driving Drunk on Halloween in 2017?

Halloween, our scariest holiday in the U.S., is right around the corner. Although most people don’t usually associate Halloween as the kind of holiday with a lot of drinking, like Labor Day or the 4th of July, there are still parties where there’s plenty of alcohol on the spookiest night of the year.

Halloween Drunk Driving Deaths on the Rise

In fact, drunk driving fatalities on Halloween night are sadly increasing. In 2015, there were 55 deaths. That’s nearly 20 more people compared to 2011’s statistics.

In addition, on Halloween night between the years 2011 to 2015, 45 percent of motor vehicle-related deaths involved drunk driving.

People aged 21 to 34-years-old accounted for the most fatalities at 64 percent in drunk-driving related crashes on Halloween Night in 2015. This is the same age group contributing to the most drunk driving fatalities overall in the U.S. 

Think Ahead, Don’t Drink and Drive

Don’t mix the boos with too much booze. Stay proactive with your party plans. Have a ride-sharing app on your phone, or if you’re the host, plan to have friends spend the night if they are drinking too much. If you see what appears to be a drunk driver on the road, call 911.

Some people assume that they’ve only ‘had a few drinks’ after a party, and are OK to drive. Alcohol dissipates in our bodies slower than most realize. And although you may feel OK, your breath alcohol content could still be at .08, the legal drinking limit. DUIs are costly with attorney fees, fines, higher insurance rates, and more. Even worse, you are putting yourself and others’ lives at risk when you make the decision to drink and drive.

Choosing the Ignition Interlock Device

One way to know if you’re truly OK to drive or not is with an Ignition Interlock Device. Handheld and discreet, a Smart Start Ignition Interlock is a breathalyzer that is installed in your vehicle. If one blows into the device and has too much alcohol in their system, the vehicle will not start.

Ignition Interlocks are only less than $3.50 a day, which is cheaper than a pack of cigarettes or a tall Starbucks coffee. Ignition Interlocks are a physical tool that can help keep you and others safe on the road, and that is priceless.

Need an Ignition Interlock? Call our team at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our online form today.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Cracks Down on Drunk Driving During Labor Day Weekend

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is partnering up with law enforcement nationwide to prevent drunk driving this Labor Day weekend.

What’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over?

National Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over began August 18 and will continue past Labor Day weekend until Monday, September 4 nationwide.

During this time, there will be a zero-tolerance enforcement by roadway officials when they suspect a drunk driver. This means more sobriety checkpoints will be present, as well as more troopers and officers on the lookout for impaired drivers. Studies show that this type of enforcement reduces drunk driving fatalities by 20 percent.

NHTSA’s campaign comes at a time of the year where drunk driving fatalities substantially increase throughout the U.S. According to NHTSA, one person is killed every 51 minutes by a drunk driver on public roadways.

Labor Day Drunk Driving Fatalities

The statistics on drunk driving accidents and fatalities are unfortunate at any time, but especially during this time of the year.

On Labor Day weekend in 2015, there were 460 crash fatalities nationwide. Of those fatalities, 40 percent, or 184 people, were impaired with at least a BAC level of .01 or above. In the 40 percent, a third were illegally impaired at a .08 BAC level or above, and a fourth were twice over the legal limit with .15 BAC or above.

Stay Safe This Labor Day Weekend

Take the time to make a safety plan before you go out this Labor Day weekend. Designate a sober driver, plan on using a ride-sharing app like Lyft, or use public transportation to get back home. If you see or suspect a drunk driver on the road, call the police.

Get Back on the Road with a Smart Start Ignition Interlock Device

Do you need an Ignition Interlock because of a court or state order? Smart Start is a nationwide leader that’s been providing the best customer service to clients since 1992. We will set up an installation appointment, offer any current specials and give a quote. Call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our simple online form.

Is the Fourth of July America’s Deadliest Holiday?

The numbers from NHTSA during the July 4th holiday period are startling.

Fourth of July Fatality Stats

In 2015 from July 2 to July 6, 146 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher.

In addition, 92 people died in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher. A BAC of .15 is almost twice the nationwide legal limit.

Unfortunately, July 4th is also included in what is coined by AAA as ‘The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer’ for teenage drivers.

NHTSA Raising Awareness

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) wants to turn unnecessary tragedy on our roads to heightened awareness this summer. To do that, NHTSA provides educational resources and statistics to let everyone be aware and take action.

NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is all-year round, but has special materials for the Fourth of July. (In fact, you may have seen this ad on TV a few times.) The campaign focuses on law enforcement’s goal to stop drunk drivers. Its July 4th page holds infographics, videos, logos and more to promote their goal of preventing drunken driving.

“Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving,” is another holiday marketing campaign from NHTSA that brings awareness to the societal norms, and dangers, of alcohol. Their materials encourage safe tips such as designating a sober driver when getting back home from the holiday events.

Let’s make this year a safe Fourth of July with friends, family and fireworks. Ask a friend or family member who is 100 percent sober to drive you home.

Do you need an Interlock Device to comply with your court or state requirements? Call Smart Start at 800-831-3299 or fill out our quick and easy online form.


Tips: Traveling for the Summer? Drive Safe, Distraction-Free and Sober

Impaired driving unfortunately increases during the summer. It is discouraging to read, but studies show that summer holidays such as the 4th of July and Labor Day are deadliest when it comes to DUI incidents. In NHTSA’s study, Memorial Day was highest with 312 fatal accidents, followed by Labor Day and the 4th of July.

100 Deadliest Days

AAA also labels the summer months as the “100 Deadliest Days” period for teenagers. Although drunken driving is a percentage of car-related fatalities for teenagers, it is distracted driving that is the number one statistic for teens and fatal crashes. Distracted driving can be looking down at your phone or even looking for something in your car that you think may take just a second. On average, 1,022 deaths are reported each year from May through August.

While you are traveling to a family or community event, or going on vacation, take extra precaution. Even if your plans only involve a 5-mile trip, it is best to always stay aware of your surroundings.

The CDC has some tips to make sure you and everyone else stay safe for your summer plans.

CDC Tips

  • Before drinking, designate a friend or family member who won’t be drinking to drive you home.
  • Call a taxi, use public transportation or use services like Uber and Lyft.
  • Look out for your friends and family: make sure a loved one doesn’t try to drive home impaired.
  • Hosting a party or event? Make sure all your guests get home safe and leave with a sober driver.
  • Notice someone swerving on the road? Call the police immediately, whether you believe you are over-reacting or not. Your phone call could save a life.

Smart Start hopes you have a fantastic and safe summer!

If you need an Interlock Device, feel free to call our 24/7/365 customer care center today at 800-831-3299 or fill out our online form.

School’s Out: 3 Tips for Child and Pedestrian Safety

June usually means it is officially summertime. More people are outside and enjoying the warmth of the sun. It means that children are most likely to play outdoors, too.

That’s why it is important for you and your children to take extra precaution while everyone is outside. There are still careless drivers on the road, so being aware of pedestrian safety tips is important not only during the summer, but year-round.

Here are some helpful tips from for you and your child to be aware and safe.

Walking while distracted by a phone or headphones

If your child is playing loud music in their ears or looking down at their phone while crossing the street, this could mean bad news if a vehicle is approaching toward them at the same time. Having a phone out or listening to music lowers your sense of awareness drastically. Turn the music off or hold the conversation while crossing the street to make sure your child is properly keeping an eye (and ear) out for cars.

Don’t wear dark clothes

If you are walking at night, make sure to wear bright and/or neon clothing so other people and vehicles can easily see you.

Continue looking, and stay vigilant

One good tip is to look both ways before crossing the street, and to keep looking as you are crossing.

Stay vigilant for vehicles backing out. It is difficult for a driver to see directly behind them as they are backing their vehicle out, so keep aware for these signs and steer clear.

Drunk Driving Increases During the Summer

Unfortunately, there’s a higher percentage of people driving while impaired since there are more drivers overall on the road during the summer months. Holidays like Memorial Day and 4th of July also see an additional increase in drunken driving. If you are drinking at a holiday party or friend’s house, stop and think. Get a taxi, Uber or Lyft, or ask a friend who is sober for a ride.

Smart Start’s Ignition Interlock Devices are one of the most effective tools against drunk driving. The SSI-20/30™ and SSI-20/20™ both have fuel cell technology, which is the most accurate method of testing someone’s breath alcohol to date.

Do you need an Interlock Device? Call Smart Start today at 800-831-3299 or fill out our quick and simple online form.