Monitech

Category: General Information

ignition-interlock-stall-protection

We’re the first to admit that having an ignition interlock takes a bit of getting used to, though the most advanced devices are designed to be accurate and easy to use. At the very least, you’re adding a new habit – the breath test – to the ritual of driving a car.

Some people wonder what happens if you’re out in traffic, and for some reason, your vehicle stalls. Will you be forced to stop and take a breath test out in the middle of an intersection, while people honk at you?

Stall Protection to the Rescue

The answer is no. If you’re using a Monitech ignition interlock, you have built-in stall protection. If you stall the device gives you two minutes to re-start the vehicle before you have to take a test. That’s plenty of time to get going again.

With a Monitech ignition interlock device, the procedure is simple. If you stall, just turn the ignition switch off and then start the car as you normally would. Even if you stalled during a test request – while the device was requesting a rolling re-test – you can still start after a stall.

Keeping You on the Road

Stall protection is an example of a feature which helps Monitech ignition interlocks do what they’re designed to do – keep you rolling. Once you’ve regained your driving privileges, an ignition interlock isn’t there to prevent you from driving – it’s there to make sure you stay on the road, safely, legally, and a hundred percent sober – every day.

halloween designated driverIt’s Halloween, your chance to be someone you can’t normally be: Wonder Woman, Deadpool, Captain America, Catwoman…go ahead, indulge your fantasy.

But consider being, at the same time, a superhero that doesn’t require a costume. You can be a Halloween designated driver at tonight’s party.

No need to buy a costume, or duct-tape one together frantically at the last minute. Just make a pact with yourself not to drink, so your friends can do so and get home safely.

If you like, give them a chance to return the favor later – Thanksgiving, New Year’s, whenever. There are plenty of occasions and your giving up alcohol for one will make life merry and safe for your friends.

Maybe there should be a costume for Halloween Designated Driver. Until then, be an unsung hero and stay off drinking – completely – for one night. Make sure your friends are safe where they should be at the end of the Halloween festivities. Even if you’re not dressed as a superhero, you’ll be one.

Think of it as a secret identity.

Happy Halloween from Monitech Ignition Interlock

Driver worried about Arizona ignition interlock violations Arizona gives drivers with a drunk driving conviction the chance to regain their driving privileges with an ignition interlock – a device which prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

Most offenders do well in Arizona with the device: statistics show that ignition interlocks reduce recidivism, and most first-time DUI offenders do not reoffend after they’ve been in the ignition interlock program.

However, violations do occur, and the consequences are serious, so if you have an interlock device you should know if you’re in violation of the program. Here are the 5 ways that DUI offenders rack up Arizona ignition interlock violations:

Not installing the interlock

This is one of the more common violations, and the most needless: not installing an ignition interlock if you are ordered to. Once your driving privileges are reinstated, you have 30 days to have the interlock installed. Driving without an ignition interlock is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Violators can have their ignition interlock requirement extended for an extra year.

Tampering

Tampering with an ignition interlock is not only illegal: it almost never works, and is always detected. Even if you were to find a way to disable or bypass the mechanism, the data would reveal that driving was being done without testing. The result would be another offense on the record.

Circumventing

Getting a passenger to breathe into the ignition interlock, or otherwise circumvent the device, is illegal, and will result in longer suspension and interlock period.

Failing the breath test

If you attempt to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit, you’re in violation of your interlock program.

Driving without the device

If you’re under interlock restriction, you’re not allowed to operate a vehicle without an ignition interlock device except in cases of emergency.

This might seem like a long list, but it boils down to a simple rule: use the interlock correctly and don’t drink and drive, and Arizona ignition interlock violations won’t be a problem – you’ll get through the and can move on.

Good luck!

typical-drunk-driver

We, of course, would never drive drunk. We don’t hold with drunk driving, and would not let our friends drive drunk either.

But somehow, millions do just that.

Millions? If that sounds extreme, you might be thinking of the 10,000 people who die each year as a result of impaired driving. But the number of people injured is much greater than that. And even that larger tally does not tell us how many drunk drivers are actually out there.

In 2015 1.1 million people were arrested for DUI. A frightening number, but remember that only a small percentage of drunk drivers are arrested. According to the CDC, there were 111 million self-reported drunk driving episodes that year.

So, impaired drivers are all over. But who is the typical drunk driver? According to the most recent report by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, the typical drunk driver is:

  • Young. Apparently wisdom does come with age, at least as far as impaired driving goes. TIRF found that the likelihood of a person admitting to driving while under the influenced decreased almost 34 percent for every 10 years in age.
  • Male. The odds of a male admitting to driving drunk were more than 150% greater than for females. This jibes with arrest statistics.
  • Violators. Drivers who had two or more traffic violations on their record in the last year had a whopping 757 percent greater likelihood of driving impaired versus those who had one or no tickets.

None of this was exactly top-secret before reports came out, but the research is solid: to reduce drunk driving, get young males, particularly ones with bad driving records, to change their behavior.

Ignition interlock programs are one way of doing just that: because they prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking, they can help any driver – young, old, male, female – learn to drive responsibly.

Other methods have helped too. Efforts to target that particular group with advertising have occasionally led to controversy, but in general we’ve come a long way from the old days and know our target market better now.

But advertising has its limits, and ignition interlocks are only for offenders who have been caught. Road safety advocates need to keep working on ways to address the problem of the young, aggressive, risk-taking male. If they don’t, the roads will continue to be dangerous for everyone.

auto-brewery syndromeEvery once in a while a news story circulates about a person who was pulled over for drunk driving, tested, and found to be over the legal intoxication limit – despite having had nothing to drink.

The offender in question was a victim of auto-brewery syndrome, a rare medical condition in which food in one’s digestive system ferments and turns into alcohol, causing drunkenness.

The resulting buzz is no different from the one gained from a six-pack of beer or a couple of Margaritas, unfortunately. The legal question raised is whether a person who suffers from this should be arrested for DUI.

There are cases in which a DUI charge has been dismissed after a judge is presented with evidence of auto-brewery syndrome. It’s a sketchy legal area, because a person who has alcohol in his or her system – sometimes a large amount – is still dangerous on the road, even if that person did not intentionally take a drink before driving.

The Not-So-Sweet Side of Sugar

The syndrome works by combining yeast in the gut with sugars that have been eaten – not just sugar per se, but also the kind of sugars found when starches such as bread and pasta are broken down by the body. The sugars feed the yeast’s fermentation process – essentially the same process that goes on at your local brewery  or winery – and turn into alcohol.

For that reason, people with the syndrome are advised to keep to a very low-carbohydrate diet.

Auto-Brewery Syndrome: A Free Pass for DUI?

It’s only been in the last few years that some courts have accepted auto-brewery syndrome as a real disease, but what is agreed upon is that it’s rare. Chances are very, very good that a person who is arrested with a blood alcohol concentration over the limit, and who claims not to have had a drink, is not a victim of the disease – at least not auto-brewery syndrome. They are most likely DUI, and will be treated as such by the courts.

ignition interlock for repeat DUI offenders“Ignition interlocks achieve what license suspension cannot,” says a recent email from MADD to its supporters. “They separate drinking from driving.”

Now MADD – Mothers Against Drunk Driving – is starting a push to bring ignition interlocks to all drunk driving offenders – repeat DUI offenders and first-time drunk drivers – in every US state.  Right now 30 states have such laws.

An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

10th, 11th, 12th DUI Offense? Do a Google Search!

According to MADD – and this is easily verifiable – a Google search for “10th drunk driving offender” will turn up many hits. The reason is that the first recourse for states in the fight against drunk driving is an inadequate one: license suspension. Certainly a drunk driver deserves to have his or her license pulled. But doing so is no guarantee that the offender won’t get back behind the wheel while drunk.

Ignition interlocks are the only measure that actually prevents drunk drivers from taking to the road. The must give a breath sample before they can start a vehicle, and must re-take the breath test at intervals while driving, to demonstrate that they didn’t start drinking after starting up. That’s what makes the devices so effective against repeat DUI offenders.

Test results are logged and handed to monitors to ensure that anyone who is violating the terms of the ignition interlock program can face consequences.

Those who want to further the cause of road safety can help by donating to MADD’s “$50 for 50 States” campaign.

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