Need Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance in Florida?

If you need Ignition Interlock financial assistance in Florida, the state may be able to help through its indigent program.

The Florida Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance or Indigent Program

The court that rules over your DUI case decides whether you are eligible for the Florida Ignition Interlock financial assistance program or not. However, the Department Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is your regulatory agency, and will provide oversight, education and monitoring of your program.

If the court determines that you are unable to pay for the installation of your Ignition Interlock, you may be eligible to pay just a portion of the cost. Keep in mind that Florida regulations also require a $12 state fee at the time of your Ignition Interlock installation.

If you need to install an Ignition Interlock in Florida, let Smart Start be your guide. We are available to answer any questions about your Ignition Interlock program at (800) 831-3299.

Ignition Interlock Indigent Programs by State Series

Need an Ignition Interlock in Florida?

Smart Start can get you back on the road again with a reliable Ignition Interlock and dependable customer service. We have many service locations throughout Florida with an affordable program. Call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our online form.

Need Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance in New Mexico?

The New Mexico Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Traffic Safety Bureau (TSB) determines if you are applicable for New Mexico’s Ignition Interlock financial assistance program.

What New Mexico’s Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance Program Covers

The program will include paying up to $30 per calibration, $100 for a transfer and up to $50 for removal for clients. You will be responsible for other charges with your Ignition Interlock, such as installation.

If approved, the TSB will provide the proper information, such as your benefit effective dates. They will also notify the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) of your indigency status. Then, you’ll need to take a copy of your notice to your Ignition Interlock provider, such as Smart Start.

Who Qualifies for New Mexico’s Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance?

Here’s the only situations where you can qualify for the financial assistance fund:

  • If you’ve been convicted in New Mexico for DWI and have been court ordered to use an Ignition Interlock
  • Your driver’s license was revoked by the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) because of a DWI arrest and you cannot drive legally without an Ignition Interlock
  • You need to drive with an Ignition Interlock as a condition of parole

The state will evaluate your finances and determine if you are eligible for the indigent, or financial assistance, program.

Helpful Links

Need the New Mexico Ignition Interlock financial assistance application form?

Ignition Interlock Indigent Programs by State Series

If you have any questions, Smart Start’s Customer Care Center is standing by to help. We can provide you information on your state laws or your Ignition Interlock program. Feel free to call our team any time at (800) 831-3299

Do You Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start is the biggest Ignition Interlock provider in New Mexico with superior customer service and a reliable device. To schedule an installation appointment, call our Customer Care Center at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

Texas College Kids Learn About Drunk Driving Through Dodgeball

Organizations all over the U.S. are coming up with creative ways to teach about the dangers of drunk driving. For instance, educational simulators or ‘drunk goggles’ may leave a more lasting impression on young people, and encourage them to avoid drunk driving.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is adding to the conversation by using a virtual dodgeball game to teach college students about the dangers of drunk driving.

A few months ago, the organization visited the University of Texas in Austin because most alcohol-related crashes involve people between the ages of 18 to 35.

How Does the Virtual Dodgeball Game Work?

TxDOT set up a booth with a big screen in front of the player. The screen then tracks the player’s movement as they try to dodge the balls. The game gradually starts to slow down the player’s ability to react as they ‘raise’ the amount of alcohol.

After playing, one student in a news article said that, “if I can’t even dodge a football, I could not even operate a car or anything like that.”

The focus of the game was to leave students with the realization that alcohol can severely affect your driving skills. Students should also be pro-active and have a game plan before going to parties and events that involve alcohol, like appointing a designated driver or having a ridesharing app on their phones.

Texas Drunk Driving Statistics

In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s recent drunk driving data, Texas was the state with the highest drunk driving-related deaths. And from TxDOT’s numbers, 28 percent of crashes in Texas in 2016 were alcohol-related. In Austin during Labor Day weekend in 2016, there were 34 alcohol-related crashes. Two of those resulted in a fatality and six with an injury.

With the TxDOT and other organizations educating younger people against drunk driving in more creative ways, we can see these numbers decrease. One tool that’s changing the numbers already is an Ignition Interlock Device.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that between 2015 and 2016, Ignition Interlocks stopped drivers 27,694 times with a BAC level of .08 or more. If these devices continue to be a requirement for DWI offenders, Texas will have safer roadways.

Do You Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start will provide you a reliable device and the best customer service support in the Ignition Interlock industry. Call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

Is Pot Legalization to Blame for the Rise in Colorado’s Traffic Deaths?

Colorado began legalizing pot, or marijuana, for personal use in 2012. Then the commercial sale of pot began in 2014.

Traffic Fatalities in Colorado Are Going Up

According to a Denver Post article, traffic fatalities involving pot in someone’s system have drastically gone up since 2013. They claim their analysis of the data and coroner reports show the most comprehensive look yet regarding whether roads in the state have become more dangerous or not since the legalization of pot.

In NHTSA’s data, there’s a 40 percent increase of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado between 2013 and 2016. Drivers who tested positive for marijuana use increased 145 percent from 47 in 2013 to 115 in 2016.

But is Legalization of Pot Really to Blame?

Colorado transportation and public safety officials say that the rise in pot-related traffic deaths cannot be definitively linked to legalized pot. However, they say, the quick increase of pot usage since 2013 should not be ignored. Officials need to highlight the potential dangers of mixing pot use and driving. The vast majority of drivers surviving fatal crashes and testing for pot showed that they had used the drug within hours of testing.

Smart Start Separates Drinking From Driving®, but also does not agree with mixing any type of drug while getting behind the wheel. One point no one can deny is that pot significantly impairs your driving skills, such as your judgment, motor coordination and reaction time.

Do You Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start can help you get back on the road the quickest. To schedule an install appointment, call our Customer Care Center at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our online form.

DWI Court Program Reduces Tendency to Re-Offend by 69 Percent

Minnesota is one of many states that have been pleasantly surprised with the results from their DWI court programs. It turns out that Minnesota’s DWI court program in particular has reduced recidivism among its participants by a resounding 69 percent. Recidivism means the tendency for an individual to re-offend.

These are very promising numbers for Minnesota to prevent drunk driving on their roads. According to the DPS website, 41 percent of drivers in 2015 who were arrested for a DWI in Minnesota had at least one previous drunk driving conviction. And nearly 266,000 Minnesota drivers have more than one DWI on their record. To reveal that drug court participants’ recidivism rates were reduced by nearly 70 percent could lessen these percentages.

What Are DWI Courts?

The Minnesota DWI Court’s focus is to eliminate repeat DWI offenses by embracing a more holistic approach with offenders.

DWI Courts in the U.S. are for DWI/DUI offenders, providing a more focused treatment plan for their offenses, whether drug or alcohol-related. For the past 20 years, DWI Courts throughout the nation have shown their success rate with 75 percent of adult criminal drug court graduates not committing their crimes again.

DWI Courts and Ignition Interlocks Prevent Drunk Driving

DWI Courts help reduce recidivism, and the proper tools such as Ignition Interlocks have been proven to effectively assist as well. They can also prevent drunk driving in a more direct way.

Ignition Interlock Devices can physically stop someone from starting their car if there’s too much alcohol in their system. They are usually a requirement for DWI offenders, although Ignition Interlock laws vary in each state.  In Minnesota, first-time offenders with a BAC level of .16 or above, or repeat offenders, must have an Ignition Interlock to regain their driving privileges.

Pairing the device with specialty court, such as Minnesota’s DWI court program, leaves offenders in a better position to change their lifestyle.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start can support you with the most reliable Ignition Interlock Device and the best customer service. To receive a quote and schedule your installation appointment, simply call us today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

Stricter Ignition Interlock Device Law in California Starting January 2019

There’s going to be an expansion to the Ignition Interlock law in California that will take effect in a year. Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) in California will expand state-wide starting January 2019.

Senate Bill 1046 was signed by Governor Jerry Brown last year. The bill expands the IID program to the four counties who have been participating in the pilot IID program. Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare Counties have required IIDs for certain DUI offenders since 2010.

Due to the pilot program’s success in these areas, the bill has passed for IID use throughout California. The program’s results show that IIDs reduce DUI incidents, including repeat offenses.

Who Needs an IID Under the Ignition Interlock Device Law in California?

Here’s the scenarios that will make an Ignition Interlock Device mandatory in a DUI case.

  • A first DUI offense that also involves an injury
    • Required IID period: Six months
  • A first DUI offense that involves no injuries
    • An offender may choose a six-month IID requirement with full driving privileges, or a one-year restricted license that would only allow them to drive to and from work if they also participate in a treatment program
  • A second DUI offense
    • Required IID period: One year
  • A third DUI offense
    • Required IID period: Two years
  • A fourth or subsequent DUI offense
    • Required IID period: Three years


With the expansion of Ignition Interlocks across the state, California will start to see a positive change on its roadways. In other states where IID is a requirement for all offenders, there’s been a notable decrease in alcohol-related crashes, injuries and fatalities. An IID can prevent someone from starting their vehicle if they have too much alcohol in their system. In fact, Smart Start’s devices have stopped more than 11 million illegal vehicle starts throughout the U.S.

Smart Start applauds California in its proactive stance to eliminate drunk driving by expanding their Ignition Interlock law.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start’s here to help you get back on the road. We have convenient service locations in California, including an Ignition Interlock mobile service that can come to you. To schedule an installation, call our Customer Care Center at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short form.

North Carolina: Community Event, Safety City, Includes Interactive, Drunk Driving Education

The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP), along with other organizations, had a booth at the state fair in Raleigh that visitors won’t easily forget. With a focus on road safety, one of the various topics attendees learned about included drunk driving education, which could be life-saving knowledge.

What Was at Safety City?

The various features at the Safety City booth were interactive but also informative. All the different stations at the booth showed the dangers that affect our roads, such as distracted, reckless and drunken driving.

Participants could:

  • Ride the seat belt convincer to learn about seat belt security and experience a crash simulation
  • Tour the B.A.T. Mobile, a breath alcohol testing unit with a mobile lab and magistrate’s court room. These units are used at checkpoints throughout North Carolina to identify and remove impaired drivers off the road.
  • Wear alcohol impairment goggles, and
  • Take the Vision Zero pledge

Who Were the Organizations Involved in Safety City?

NC Vision Zero is an organization launched by Former Governor McCrory of North Carolina. They fight to combat and prevent road-related deaths in the state. Their goal is to cut roadway fatalities in half within the next 15 years. But ultimately, they want zero deaths on North Carolina’s roads.

Safety City includes NC Vision Zero, MADDSafe KidsBikeSafeBeRailSafeWatch for Me, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, and various law enforcement organizations.

Road Fatality Stats

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “one-third of fatal teen crashes occur at night, and over half of those crashes happen between 9 a.m. and midnight.” Not only that, but drunk driving deaths overall have unfortunately increased for the second subsequent year in a row.

Local events such as Safety City remind communities why we need to pay more attention to the dangers of behavior like drunk driving. Sharing the mission of keeping all roadways safe, Ignition Interlocks are the only tools available to physically stop someone from starting their car if they’re too drunk.

Smart Start shares in Safety City’s goal to bring safer roads to not only North Carolina, but the entire country’s as well.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start is North Carolina’s Ignition Interlock provider with convenient locations and affordable device costs. We can set up an installation appointment for you right away. Just call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

Wisconsin Passes Stronger Ignition Interlock Law, But Is It Enough?

Wisconsin just passed two tougher bills on drunk driving last week, and it could change the state’s roadways for the better.

One of the bills promotes an extended requirement for Ignition Interlocks. An Ignition Interlock is a device that some DUI offenders must install into their car, dependent on their case details.

The device can detect the user’s breath alcohol concentration (BrAC), and if their level of consumption is too high, their vehicle will not start.

Two New Drunk Driving Bills in Wisconsin

The first bill in Wisconsin will extend the Ignition Interlock requirement to Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) offenders. Now, all first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or above, and all repeat offenders, must install the device into their vehicles.

30 states and D.C. have all-offender Ignition Interlock laws for offenders with a BAC level of .08 or above. These types of laws are proven to be a success in reducing the possibility of repeat drunk driving offenses.

The second bill involves OWI offenders’ driver’s licenses. If someone commits a fourth offense, the individual’s license will be permanently revoked. However, if it is a second offense with two other related vehicular offenses, one’s license could be revoked as well.

Wisconsin is the only U.S. state that treats first-time OWI offenses as a traffic ticket rather than a crime. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 193 drunk driving deaths occurred in 2016  in Wisconsin.

With a stronger expansion of drunk driving and Ignition Interlock laws, Wisconsin will see less impaired drivers on the road.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start can provide you an Ignition Interlock Device that’s reliable and customer service that’s unbeatable. Call our team at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our online form.

What should I do after I have been arrested for a DUI in Illinois?

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: Thomas Glasgow
Criminal Defense DUI Attorney in Illinois

A DUI in Illinois?

Being arrested for DUI can be scary. You have lived an otherwise law-abiding life and now you’re faced with the full brunt of the criminal justice system. You’ve been arrested, taken to the police station, photographed, fingerprinted, and hopefully released on bond.  You’re ashamed, your head is spinning and you’re thinking to yourself, “what do I do next?”

Contacting an attorney immediately after being arrested is one of the most important things you can do to help preserve your rights and your driving privileges in any DUI.

Speaking with one immediately after you’ve been arrested allows an attorney to have a clear view of what occurred because the memory is fresh in your mind. It allows the attorney to take pictures and videos of the scene as it currently exists as opposed to changes in time, weather, and the features of the place the incident occurred.

Additionally, it allows the attorney to contact witnesses and preserve evidence, which may not otherwise be accessible or available to them to assist you in your defense.

What Should I Bring to My Attorney’s Office?

When you were released you received several pieces of paper. These are all important. Among other items given to you, you will have received:

  • A bond receipt
  • Tickets that were issued for the DUI
  • Other traffic citations, which were most likely the basis for the stop
  • Tow sheets
  • Receipts
  • Possible forfeiture paperwork

These are documents pertaining to the criminal case against your person and your license. The state will use these documents to possibly incarcerate you and to revoke your driving privileges.

Other Important Paperwork for Your DUI in Illinois

There are other documents you received. You also received a warning to motorists and a notice of statutory summary suspension.

These two white sheets of paper are not against you but are a case against your driver’s license. This is where your license can be suspended for a period of anywhere between six months and three years independent of any disposition of the criminal charges against you. They contain important information regarding probable cause to arrest and the potential to have certain evidence excluded from the trial and your driving privileges restored to you.

Meeting with Your DUI Attorney

Bring all this paperwork to your first meeting with your attorney. Make sure that you go over in detail the events that led up to the arrest as well as any possible witnesses and evidence that you may have that would assist your attorney in your defense. Having an accurate, honest and clear discussion with your attorney about not only your case but your past criminal history is imperative for mounting appropriate defense.

Lastly, please make sure that the attorney that you choose has experience in defending DUIs.

DUIs may be traffic related, but they are not just a simple traffic ticket. DUIs are extremely complex and can have a profound and long-lasting impact on your ability to live, work, and sustain your economic stability. Make sure that the attorney you choose has trial experience in defending DUIs and statutory summary suspensions.


Thomas Glasgow - Illinois Criminial Defense Attorney

 

 

Thomas Glasgow
Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney serving Cook, McHenry, Lake, DuPage and Will Counties
Glasgow & Olsson

 

 

 

Thomas Glasgow has prosecuted and defended thousands of DUIs in his career and is an author and lecturer on defending DUI for The Illinois Institute for continuing legal education.

Need an Ignition Interlock because of a DUI? Smart Start is here to help with state discounts and same-day installation appointments. Call our team today at (800) 831-3299 or by filling out our online form.

When Will I Need an Ignition Interlock Device in Iowa?

Iowa requires Ignition Interlock Devices for some individuals who are convicted of Operating While Intoxicated, or OWI.

When your license is revoked from the Department of Transportation (DOT) because of your OWI, you may be eligible for a temporary restricted license. This restricted license is only valid if you install an Ignition Interlock Device into your vehicle.

What’s an Ignition Interlock Device?

An Ignition Interlock is a small device that must be installed in your vehicle after an OWI conviction. When the user blows into the device, their breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) level is detected. Any BrAC level at or above the set fail limits for the device, usually at .025, will cause the vehicle to not start. In other words, your BrAC level needs to be below .025 to start your vehicle.

So, who needs an Ignition Interlock Device in Iowa?

Iowa Ignition Interlock Device Requirements

Below is a breakdown covering who must use an Ignition Interlock Device in Iowa:

  • First OWI offense if your BrAC level was .10 or greater
    • You will need an Ignition Interlock for 6 months
    • Install your device upon revocation of your license
  • Second OWI offense 
    • Ignition Interlock requirement: 1 year
    • Install your device 45 days after revocation
  • Did you refuse a breath or blood test by law enforcement?
    • First refusals must use an Ignition Interlock for 1 year
    • Install your device 90 days after revocation

In Iowa, these requirements above can change dependent on your OWI conviction record within the previous 12 years. The consequences can also be more severe if your OWI event caused death or serious injury.

“When Do I Need an Ignition Interlock?” Series by State

Choose an Approved Ignition Interlock Device in Iowa

Both Smart Start’s devices, the SSI-20/30™ and  SSI-20/20™, are state-approved Ignition Interlocks. In addition, our team is available to assist you at any time, even during weekends and holidays. We also offer special discounts (upon availability)! Call Smart Start now at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our online form.