Smart Start Milestones

The Smart Start milestones page celebrates every achievement with our Ignition Interlock Devices, portable devices and other service and technological advancements that have occurred since 1992.

December 1992Company founded under Jay D. and Bettye Rodgers in Texas with four employees
January 1993Smart Start is incorporated in anticipation of NHTSA federal specifications for Ignition Interlock Devices
September 1994Jim Ballard joins Smart Start as Chief Operating Officer (COO)
May 1995Smart Start launches proprietary software SmarTrac® to manage device data, monitoring, and security
July 1996Smart Start moves into new headquarters in Irving, TX and extends Customer Care Center to a 24/7/365, bilingual customer service experience
September 1996Smart Start introduces SmartLog®, a new automated reporting platform allowing state-specific custom log interpretation
October 1998Smart Start begins manufacturing the SSI-1000™ – the company’s first NHTSA-certified Ignition Interlock that implements alcohol-specific fuel cells, eliminating false positive breath samples
September 1999The first corporate store outside of Texas opens in Florida
January 2000Smart Start begins franchise model in Texas
June 2001B. Lamar Ball Jr. becomes Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
January 2002Smart Start operates in eight states
February 2002SmartWeb® is introduced to authorities across the U.S. – designed as a simple online tool to view a client’s log data, the first of its kind
January 2003Smart Start operates in 16 states
January 2004Smart Start operates in 25 states
April 2005Smart Start is ranked in the Franchise Times’ Fast 55 – “Fastest Growing New U.S. Franchises”
July 2006SmarTrac® management software is redesigned, and becomes first nationwide Interlock management platform
January 2007Smart Start operates in 32 states
March 2007Smart Start launches the SSI-20/20™ – a new modular and re-programmable Interlock
January 2008Smart Start leads the the industry, providing an Ignition Interlock Device with a camera for photo identification
March 2009First international sales launch in Denmark and Sweden
May 2009Smart Start receives its initial StandardsMark License from SAI Global (registrar, breath alcohol testing device standard) for Australia
September 2009Smart Start ranks in Inc Magazine’s “Meet America’s Entrepreneurial Superstars” issue
October 2009The IN-HOM™ is developed – a low-cost, portable alcohol monitoring device
January 2010Operations begin in Australia
January 2011Smart Start operates in 45 states
September 2011Smart Start launches sales in Chile
November 2011Smart Start launches mobile apps for Android and iOS, and launches sales in Mexico
February 2012Smart Start launches Smart Tracker, a GPS and cellular modem for the SSI-20/20™. GPS tracking, E911 and Smart Alert launch as new software modules to support Smart Tracker
March 2012Smart Start is awarded ISO9001 Certification for its manufacturing processes
June 2012Third-generation Ignition Interlock, the SSI-20/30™, is introduced. Introduces its second-generation camera module, and expands operations to New Zealand.
August 2013Smart Start’s SSI-20/30 attains compliance with the CENELEC EN-50436-1:2005 standard for Europe
November 2013Smart Start moves into new company headquarters in Grapevine, TX
July 2014Smart Start achieves compliance with NHTSA’s new federal Ignition Interlock standards
September 2014Smart Start Canada ULC is incorporated as Smart Start expands its North American operations into Canada
November 2014Smart Start launches the third-generation IN-HOM™ SMART Mobile™ with facial detection. Smart Start Canada is awarded sole source contract for Alberta’s Ignition Interlock program
February 2015Smart Start Canada is awarded sole source contract for Saskatchewan’s Ignition Interlock program
March 2015Matt Strausz becomes CEO
May 2015The SSI-20/30™ passes Canada’s testing standard, CSTT-HVC-TR-114, as published by Canada’s
National Research Council
June 2015Additional Customer Care Center opens in Kansas
August 2015 Smart Start is acquired by ABRY Partners
October 2015Smart Start Canada is awarded sole source contract for Manitoba’s Ignition Interlock program
July 2016SmartWeb 3.0 launches as an all-inclusive case management tool for state authorities
August 2016Smart Start Canada is awarded sole source contract for British Columbia’s Ignition Interlock program
June 2017DIGNITA Systems AB is purchased – a road safety technology company based in Sweden
September 2017Smart Start helps enact all-offender Ignition Interlock law in 30 U.S. states and D.C.
November 2017Smart Start installations reach 1,000,000 clients
December 2017Celebrates 25th anniversary with more than 600 employees