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A body which advises legislators on child safety has recommended that all North Carolina drunk drivers be required to use ignition interlocks. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

Currently repeat DUI offenders, and first offenders whose alcohol level is .15 or above, are required to use interlock devices. The Child Fatality Task Force voted to support a bill mandating the devices for all offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more.

North Carolina is playing catch-up in this regard. Currently 30 states have all-offender ignition interlock laws, and several states have similar bills moving through their legislatures.

About 400 North Carolinians die each year as a result of alcohol-related road crash. Ignition interlocks are known to reduce the number of DUI deaths, because repeat offenders are kept from starting their vehicle. As a result, many intoxicated people are kept off the roads. In a recent report Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) noted that ignition interlocks have prevented well over 2 million incidences of drunk driving.

The Evidence Mounts

There is more evidence that the devices work – evidence that backs the Child Fatality Task Force’s conclusion.

Month by month, the evidence mounts, and experts weigh in. It’s hard to avoid their conclusion: all states – North Carolina included – should be saving more lives by requiring all drunk drivers to use ignition interlock devices.

If you’re in North Carolina, now is a great time to contact your legislators and add your voice the the others who are demanding safer roads in the state.


It takes a lot of things to fight impaired driving: commitment, organization, and public support. Also police officers, cars, technology and good laws.

And money. Can’t do much without money to pay for the police and technology. Fortunately, the city of Mesa, Arizona has received a shot in the arm, in the form of 6 highway safety grants from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).

The grants, which total well over a half million dollars, are in direct support of six areas of public safety:

  • DUI Abatement: Police personnel overtime, DUI task force events, and employee-related DUI enforcement expenses
  • DUI Enforcement Overtime: Aiding contiuous DUI enforcement, including holidays
  • Traffic Enforcement Overtime: To promote back to school safety and speed enforcement
  • Accident Investigation Training: Collision reconstruction
  • Accident Investigation Releated Materials & Supplies: Computers and monitors for detectives
  • Liquid Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer: 50% funding of a device for screening blood samples for intoxicating substances

The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is a linchpin of the state’s highway safety efforts.  The organization promotes public awareness of highway safety issues, and funds programs to fight speeding and impaired driving, and increase seat belt use, among other activities.

Those who think that DUI enforcement is largely a matter of pulling over suspicious drivers and giving them a breath test (though that is part of it) will be surprised at how much else is involved. The GOHS is aware that the better funded anti-drunk driving efforts are, the fewer Mesa drunk drivers will end up on the road. That makes them safer for everyone. We think it’s money well spent.


Warmest wishes for a happy holiday and a safe New Year. Please drive safely and, of course, use a designated driver if you’re drinking. A lot depends on it.

– Monitech Ignition Interlock


Charlotte NC Walk Like MADD

Yes, you can fight while you walk. You can fight drunk driving, which takes some 10,000 lives each year. You fight by helping to raise funds for programs that prevent drunk driving.

You walk by … well, by walking.

It’s happening in Charlotte, North Carolina this Saturday, November 11, 2017. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is staging the Charlotte Walk Like MADD in gorgeous Freedom Park.

All you need to do is register – online or at the event – and join the people who have come together to end drunk driving in North Carolina. You can join a team, or create one, and get friends and colleagues to sponsor you.

The funds go to support MADD’s efforts: first, fighting drunk driving by promoting more effective legislation (ignition interlocks, checkpoints, child safety laws, and other measures) and second, helping the victims of drunk driving crashes, who face a great deal of pain and adversity.

Veterans Honored, Victims Remembered

Teams with veterans participating will be given a special shout-out before the start of the event. All participants will also receive American flags to carry as they walk.

Expect to see signs reminding us of those who were lost or injured because of the actions of drunk drivers. It’s for these people that MADD has worked tirelessly since 1980 on behalf of those who share the road.

Music and Fun

A Walk Like MADD is not a solemn occasion – it’s great fun, a chance to enjoy a walk in a beautiful spot, see old friends and make some new ones, and do something positive for society while you’re at it.

T-shirts will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Music and fresh are free to all. Don’t miss this chance to enjoy a peaceful morning walk in the park – while you fight the good fight against drunk driving.  Check the MADD site for more details.

Charlotte Walk Like MADD 2017

When: Saturday, November 11, 2017

Where: Freedom Park, Charlotte, NC

Check-in: 9:00am – 9:45am

Event: 10:00am – 12:00pm

super extreme DUIIn fixing drunk driving charges, most states make a distinction between run-of-the mill intoxicated and extremely drunk. The principle is that it’s worse to drive if the alcohol level is high enough to make a driver unable to control his or her vehicle at all.

Some states use “drunk” and “super drunk.” Arizona, however, has three levels of inebriation that its courts recognize:

  • DUI: Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 08 percent or above
  • Extreme DUI: Driving with a  BAC of  .15 or above
  • Super Extreme DUI: Driving with a  BAC of  .20 or above.

What a BAC of .355 Means

Recently a woman was arrested for killing a motorcyclist while speeding at more than 80 miles per hour, and being drunk at the time. Her blood alcohol level was .355, more than four times the legal limit, and more than twice the Extreme DUI level.

At that level, a person is unable to walk unassisted. They are disoriented, depressed, and usually racked with nausea. Blackouts are common – at this level alcohol poisoning is very possible.

Yet it might be possible to step on the gas and reach 100 miles per hour, as the offender did.

A super extreme DUI is fairly rare, only because most people with that much alcohol in them are not coordinated enough to drive. But when a person can get on the road with a BAC that high, the results will almost certainly be disastrous, as they were in this case.

And though the crime is not common, it makes sense for Arizona to employ the distinction, so that those who do drink such staggering amounts and drive face consequences that are more severe. Extreme DUI is truly drunk driving on a different and more lethal level.

car air freshener failIt isn’t hard having an alcohol-detecting device in your car. But you do need to be aware of it. Because an ignition interlock fuel cell looks for the molecular signature of alcohol, which is common to many substances, you’re liable to set it off accidentally.

When the device was installed you were probably advised to rinse your mouth to avoid a false positive from things like fruit juice and pizza dough, which can actually ferment in your mouth. But there are things in the air that can also make a difference to your breath test.

A lot of commercial products have alcohol, which is a very useful chemical. It preserves organic and other material; it stabilizes various mixtures; it won’t freeze; it provides moisture and then evaporates after a substance using it is applied.

An ignition interlock can detect that alcohol, though, so it’s possible you’ll blow a temporary fail if you’re used a product containing it.

Obvious examples:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hair spray
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Antifreeze
  • Cologne

All of these use a good amount of alcohol.

And is there a such thing as an air freshener fail? If you spray your car with it, that’s definitely something to watch out for. As for those little hanging trees, we’ve never seen one register on an interlock, but who knows? If you’re worried, keep the window open or stick it in the trunk until your interlock period is over. It’s a small price to pay for keeping your driving privileges.

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