Tag: Holidays


St. Patrick’s Day is popular with Americans, even those who have not a drop if Irish in their blood. The day is an excuse to wear green, sip green beer, dig up some Sligo fiddle tunes and even nibble some corned beef and cabbage. It’s not the cabbage that causes trouble, though: it’s the beer. The holiday is infamous for drinking, and worse, drinking and driving.

This might be a good time to inform revelers that Ireland itself is not a hospitable place for drunk drivers. Unlike the US, with its comparatively high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08, Ireland prosecutes anyone with a level of .05 or more for impaired driving. The usual punishment is a 2-year driving ban and a fine of 1,500 Euros.

Americans sometimes see Ireland as a nation of enthusiastic drinkers, with their Guinness and their Irish whiskey. But getting hammered and driving is not a fitting tribute to the Irish. They know better – hence their strict laws – and you should too.

This St. Patrick’s Day, make a plan. Line up a designated driver beforehand, or leave the car keys at home and take a taxi to wherever you’re celebrating. And don’t let any of your friends drive drunk either.

This March 17th, do like the Irish and show your friends a good time. But leave the wheels at home.

car keys on xmas tree-gift of designated driver

Not much shopping time left before Christmas. If you’re still looking for gifts for your friends, and the Bluetooth-enabled coffee cup doesn’t grab you, here’s one to consider: give them the gift of a designated driver. Specifically, a gift certificate good for one sober ride home after a night of partying.

This gift has a lot going for it:

  • It’s free.
  • It shows you care about your friends.
  • You can have a great time on the night they cash in the gift.
  • You’ll feel great the next morning with no hangover.

There’s no downside, although you really can’t drink alcohol on night your friend selects. But the peace of mind and freedom you’re giving him or her is well worth it.

How to Give a Night of Designated Driving

The easiest way to give your DD gift is to download and print this gift certificate. Fill it out and present to your friend, (or friends – it costs $0 no matter how many you give). Your friend will be touched by your generosity, we guarantee it.

On the night, there’s not much to know. Just:

  • Show up sober.
  • Stay sober – don’t drink any alcohol at all. There are 364 other nights in the year for that if you wish, but tonight’s the sober night, and your friends are depending on you.
  • Get your friend (or friends) home safely. That’s it – you’re the hero.

The first two points are important: there have been studies showing that designated drivers do not always stick to their plan – often they drink, but because they are less drunk than the rest of the crowd, they think they’re able to drive. If your gift is to have meaning, you need to do the right thing and avoid alcohol.

So consider a DD certificate – fast, free, and guaranteed to be well-received by your party-loving friends. And be safe this holiday season.

tipping beer glassThanksgiving, among other things, means it’s almost December, and in much of the country, it’s pretty cold. Advisories are out there about snow, ice, rain, and the need for caution on the road.

But there’s another kind of slip that could result in a collision this Thanksgiving – a slip in your resolve not to drink and drive. Many people start an evening with no intention of drinking and driving, but things happen.

  • Someone forgot the whipped cream, and you’re elected to make a run. Even though you’ve been sipping egg not for a couple of hours.
  • You were supposed to be the designated driver, but you had just one drink – what could that hurt? Then another, and all of a sudden it’s time to go and your liver doesn’t know it.
  • A friend or relative thinks he or she can drive home, and you really should stop them. But that would be rude, wouldn’t it?

There are all kinds of scenario that are right on the edge of drunk driving, and all it takes is a slip to fall into it. A moment of weakness, or inattention, and the lights are flashing and you’re in handcuffs. Or worse, you or someone else is injured. Or worse.

So don’t slip. Don’t even go near the edge this Thanksgiving. Make a plan and stick to it. Make sure no one else leaves your gathering unless they have a sober ride home.

Happy Thanksgiving from Monitech Ignition Interlock

thanksgiving-drunk-driving-problemThanksgiving is considered a long weekend holiday. But it’s also the beginning of a season that is anything but festive: the DUI season. Thanksgiving drunk driving is well-known to police. And it doesn’t stop there – arrests tend to stay elevated from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

The reasons for this increase aren’t hard to understand. Families and friends get together for Thanksgiving weekend, and then holiday celebrations start by mid-December: office parties, cocktail gatherings, social evenings. There is mulled wine, egg nog, punch, and hard cider, as well as whatever red and green cocktails a creative bartender can dream up. And then, too often, people try to drive home after drinking all that good cheer.

This is not a plea to stop enjoying Thanksgiving. Just to stop Thanksgiving drunk driving. By all means celebrate. But please have a plan in place to keep from having to get behind the wheel if you want to drink.

Line up your designated driver now. Or announce when you arrive at a party that you’re calling a taxi or rideshare home, and you want the world to know it. Your friends will be more relaxed as well, knowing that you’ve got a sober driver lined up.

“Tis the season for drunk driving. But you don’t have to be a part of it.

Happy Thanksgiving from Monitech Ignition Interlock.

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

Once again, the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has released numbers of Arizona DUI arrests for the July 4th weekend.

The totals are pretty breathtaking. In the period between Thursday, June 29th and Independence Day, police conducted some 16,000 traffic stops. The stops resulted in 539 Arizona DUI arrests.

Arrest numbers can mean different things, depending on your view. It appears that Arizona police found a drunk driver for every 21 traffic stops they made. That seems pretty steep, but presumably those 21 drivers were not a random sampling – they were pulled over because of some other behavior. So we don’t know exactly what proportion of Arizona’s 5 million drivers were impaired and behind the wheel during those 5 days.

What we do know is this:

  • 539 people were unaware or unconcerned that drunk driving is a criminal offense in Arizona. Even a first offense can get them 10 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. There are other costs too: jail costs, and a mandatory ignition interlock on their vehicle for one year.
  • 148 people were arrested for extreme DUI, meaning a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 1.5 or more. These people were apparently unaware or unconcerned that even a first extreme DUI merits 30 days in jail almost $2,800 in fines, mandatory screening and counseling, and an ignition interlock. If any of those were repeat extreme DUIs, they will be in for even stiffer penalties.
  • 539 Arizonans did not seem to care that alcohol, which depresses the central nervous system, compromised their judgment, slowed their reaction time, impaired their vision and hearing, and made it much more likely that they would get in a collision. In fact, a UC San Diego study found that even a small amount of alcohol in a driver’s system – a BAC of .01 – made it 46 percent more likely that that driver would be blamed for a collision.

And those 539 Arizonans did not seem to care that more than 250 people in the state, and some 10,000 people in the country, die each year as a result of someone’s decision to drink and drive. Fortunately, a lot of Arizonans do, and they’ll continue to support efforts like those of Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to take drunk drivers off the road.

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