QuickStartAZ Blog about ignition interlock devices and DUI laws and news

News & issues about ignition interlock devices and DUI laws. QuickStart Ignition Interlock AZ installs ignition IID or BAIID into cars of DUI offenders.

What Does a DUI Actually Cost You?

car breathalyzer costEach day, 28 people in the United States die due to a drunk driving crash. That’s 10,220 deaths per year. These deaths can easily be prevented by each person making the decision to find another ride if they’re too drunk to drive.

Not only can drinking and driving cost you your life or the life of someone else but driving drunk and being found guilty of DUI can cost you more than you could ever imagine. What else can getting a DUI cost you? Let’s take a look.

You May Lose Your License and Vehicle
When you are pulled over and asked to take a sobriety test, you may choose to accept or deny the request. If you deny, or if you are found to be drunk, you will be taken to the police station until someone is able to pick you up, or until you sober up. If you choose to take the test and you fail, your car may be impounded for a certain number of days. Getting your car out will most likely cost you a hefty price. If your car isn’t impounded, there is a chance that your license will be temporarily suspended.

Your Business Will Be Public Knowledge
If you are charged with DUI, the police report regarding the incident will be available to the public. Most DUI police reports are sent to local media. If a crash was the outcome of the DUI, a news station is most likely to post it on their website and talk about it on air.

Lawyers Will Cost You an Arm and a Leg
If you are charged with the crime, you may choose to have a DUI attorney or lawyer on your side during the court date and throughout the whole process. The price of a DUI lawyer isn’t cheap. You will have to pay them for their time to help you win the case and be found not guilty.

Any Vehicle Damages Must Be Paid for
If you drink and drive and get into a crash, there is a good chance that the vehicle you were driving is damaged. Your insurance may not cover the damages, so that might be something you have to cover out-of-pocket.

So, what if you think you’re okay to drive? How can you be sure? There is one thing you can do.

Use a Breathalyzer
If you want to be sure that you’re under the legal alcohol limit and are okay to drive, you can do a breathalyzer test. You can buy yourself a discreet breathalyzer that you can keep on hand to check your BAC when needed. That way of checking is a lot easier than getting a DUI and having to drive with an interlock device.

What to Do if You Need an Interlock Device
An interlock device forces you to breathe into a tube attached to your car to make sure that if you are driving, you are not drunk. The vehicle won’t start unless you blow into the spout. The ignition interlock device is attached directly to your steering wheel, but there are also other places in your vehicle where the breathalyzer may be.

If you do have to use an interlock device in your vehicle but are embarrassed about people seeing, there are ways to hide it. You may get yourself an interlock cup, which covers the device with a fake plastic drinking cup. Using this makes it look like you have a cup in your cupholder instead of a car breathalyzer.

A car breathalyzer costs anywhere between $500 to $1,500. The installation for a car breathalyzer costs about $200 and about $60 every three months for updates and repairs. Ultimately, a car breathalyzer costs just about $2,000. That’s $2,000 that could have been saved by not drinking and driving.

Drinking and driving can cost you a lot of money. After the lawyer fees, the car breathalyzer cost, and the publicity, is it really worth it?

Arizona Leads the Nation in DUI Laws

interlock deviceAccording to a new survey by personal finance website WalletHub, Arizona was once again named the toughest state when it comes to DUI. It’s no surprise that drunk driving is a national epidemic, especially considering 28 people die each day as a result of drunk driving-related crashes. But what is surprising is the wide degree of variation between how states handle drunk driving cases.

The survey was broken down into two separate rankings: criminal penalties and prevention. In the first category, Arizona was also ranked as first in the country, followed by Georgia in second and Alaska in third.

Additionally, Arizona ranked as the second strongest state when it comes to prevention of drunk driving, tied with Utah and coming in only after Arkansas.

While Arizona’s first place finish is impressive, it’s the consistency of the state’s efforts against drunk driving that make it truly admirable. Arizona is the only state that ranks highly in both criminal penalties and preventative measures.

Many other states tend to rank higher in a single category. Arkansas, for example, might come in ahead of Arizona for preventative measures, but it comes in at 48th place for preventative measures, dropping the state down to 22nd place.

In fact, Arizona is so far ahead of the rest of the United States that it finishes almost 15% ahead of Georgia, the next nearest state, and nearly 65% ahead of South Dakota, the lowest scoring state.

In order to judge the strength of the penalties, the survey compared metrics including jail time, fines, and whether or not additional penalties were added for more extreme levels of blood alcohol content (BAC). Other important considerations included whether or not endangering a child was a consideration in the criminal proceedings.

In order to determine the prevention measures, the survey’s authors examined whether vehicles were impounded after a DUI, whether or not the state used checkpoints and any legislation involving ignition interlock devices and other car breathalyzers, including the length of time they are installed.

All totaled, there are 55 possible points for a state to collect between the preventative and penalty categories. After those points were calculated, they were converted into percentages.

As mentioned above, ignition interlock devices play a large role in deciding the effectiveness of a state in handling drunk driving, accounting for eight of the possible 55 points, nearly 15% of the total.

The data doesn’t lie: Arizona is certainly no slouch when it comes to DUI laws. From ignition interlock devices to steeper penalties, the rest of the nation has some catching up to do. If you’re interested learning more about how ignition interlock devices or interlock cups can help prevent drunk driving, contact Quickstart today.

Are Ignition Interlock Devices Even Legal? (Spoiler: Yes.)

interlock deviceIf you have been ordered by the court to install an interlock ignition device in your car, it might seem like an invasion of your personal freedoms. In fact, if you are unfamiliar with the benefits of these car breathalyzers, it can be difficult to understand their purpose at all.

This guide is designed to help you understand whether or not interlock ignition devices are legal, and whether or not they can help you avoid future trouble.

Are Ignition Interlock Devices Legal?
In short, yes, they are. While there have been challenges in the past as to whether or not they were illegal or unconstitutional, there has yet to be any court ruling against these devices. There are two primary reasons why this is the case.

  1. Driving isn’t a right: While many people take driving for granted, it is not considered a right. Instead, it is a privilege that has to be earned. That is why new drivers are required to take a test before they are granted the privilege of driving.
  2. Even rights can be limited after a crime is committed: Even if driving were a right — and again, it isn’t — the fact that you have committed a crime means that you are subject to the requirements of criminal justice. Consider that felons can’t vote in many states. If such an inviolate right can be suspended as part of our criminal justice system, so can your driving privileges, unless you agree to the terms set by your judge.

Do Interlock Devices Even Work?
Again, the answer is a pretty simple: yes. The installation of interlock devices is associated with a reduction in arrest rates for impaired driving of up to 70%. While the old adage, where there is a will there is a way, remains true for a segment of the population, the fact is that interlock devices have a proven track record of reducing the number of repeat DUI offenders.

In fact, there is even evidence that discreet breathalyzers can be rehabilitative, reducing the number of repeat offenses even once the device is removed by as much as 39%.

If you have been convicted of a DUI and find that you need to install an ignition interlock device in order to maintain your driving privileges, it might seem unfair. The fact is, however, that they are currently a legal and effective method of combating DUIs.

Even If You Just Want to Sleep it Off, Getting in Your Car Drunk Can Have Huge Consequences

ignition interlockDrunk driving is a grave issue in the United States: every day, 28 people die from an accident resulting from drunk driving. Many states, and Arizona, in particular, have taken great strides to help curb the epidemic, ramping up enforcement and requiring ignition interlock devices be installed in the cars of drunk drivers, but the problem continues.

For individual drivers, it can often be difficult to determine what really is too drunk to drive. This is further complicated by fact that in many states you can be charged and even convicted of a DUI with a blood alcohol content below .08%.

This is at least part of the reason why Ignition Interlock devices are helpful; in order to start a car fitted with an ignition interlock device, a driver must breathe into a car breathalyzer’s interlock cup and prove their sobriety.

If you don’t have such resources available to you, there are a number of options for you. You can call a cab or another ride, or you could sleep it off in the car. But even if you plan on simply relaxing if your car while waiting for a ride, you must take precautions to avoid placing yourself of being in “actual physical control” of your car, meaning that you are able to cause harm to yourself or others with your vehicle.

The best way to avoid putting yourself in “actual physical control” is to simply not insert the key into the ignition. There is precedent in Arizona for a person to be charged with DUI simply by having their keys in the ignition while being drunk, even if the reason is as innocuous as turning on the radio or rolling down a window.

The benefit of this rule, however, is that if you make a mistake and get behind the wheel when you should not, you can pull off of the road and turn off your car in order to rest until you are sober enough to continue your drive without fear of being charged should you be discovered while sleeping with the car off.

According to a Supreme Court ruling in State of Arizona v. Zavala, 136 Ariz. 356, 666 P.2d 456 (1983):

“The interpretation we place on the legislature’s imprecise language is compelled by our belief that it is reasonable to allow a driver, when he believes his driving is impaired, to pull completely off the highway, turn the key off and sleep until he is sober, without fear of being arrested for being in control. To hold otherwise might encourage a drunk driver, apprehensive about being arrested, to attempt to reach his destination while endangering others on the highway.”

It is important to note that law is complicated and ever evolving. The only sure way not to be convicted of a DUI is to avoid anything that might appear as drunk driving and to never put the key into the ignition if you are unsure of your own sobriety.

Voluntary Installation of Ignition Interlock Devices Increasingly Common for Parents of Young Drivers

ignition interlock deviceAll across the nation, states are instituting new car breathalyzer laws aimed are reducing the number of DWI drivers who repeat their crime. These laws are especially prudent, as drivers involved in fatal crashes with .08% blood alcohol content or more were more than six times more likely to have a previous DWI than not.

But these popular ignition interlock devices, which have a proven track record of keeping drunk drivers off of the road, are finding a wider application as more and more people opt to voluntarily install one into their vehicles.

This trend has been particularly pronounced among parents of teenagers, who are worried about the consequences a possible youthful indiscretion can have. Here are the top reasons to consider voluntarily installing an ignition interlock cup in your teen’s car.

Safety

The most obvious reason to install one of these systems is to help ensure your child’s safety. Teenagers often suffer from the belief that they are immortal and that their actions will be free of any consequence.

Additionally, teenagers who might be experimenting with alcohol for the first time might be unfamiliar with the way it interacts with their body. Knowing this, parents might decide to take steps to limit the ways their children might engage in risky behavior.

Peace of Mind

If you are the type of parent that worries after your child late into the evening, installing a car breathalyzer can go a long way to reducing your stress. While there are certainly workarounds, more often than not simply failing a breathalyzer is a good wake-up call for teens, and can help them keep out of trouble.

Protect Their Future

While your child may not realize it, the effects of a DUI/DWI will follow them for the rest of their life. A DUI can show up on your child’s background checks for years into the future, preventing them from receiving college funding and housing, and have a tremendous effect on their employability. They will also face significantly steeper insurance rates if they can qualify at all.

Ignition interlock devices have done wonders to reduce the number of repeat DUIs. For many parents, the broader applications of this life-saving technology have even more value.

Don’t Let Your Friend Drive Drunk: Consider These 3 Tips

car breathalyzerHaving a friend who is struggling with alcohol issues can be a nightmare. It’s important that you get them the professional help they need, but in the meantime, ensure that they are not putting you, themselves, or anyone else in danger. Here are a few ways you can help prevent your troubled friend from getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Encourage them to get a car breathalyzer installed
The trouble with dealing with an individual who is a problem drinker and a potential threat to drive drunk is that they are reasonable while sober but completely unreasonable as soon as they are drinking. If you talk to your friend when he or she is sober and let them know how worried you are about them when they drink, they might agree to using a car breathalyzer. The majority of ignition interlock devices will prompt the driver to perform a rolling retest five to 15 minutes after the vehicle and then randomly throughout the rest of the trip, ensuring that the user can’t cheat the system by having someone else start the car for them.

Drive their car home for them instead
You don’t want your friend to take advantage of you by offering to drive them all the time, but it’s better than letting him or her drive home under the influence. If they are drinking, grab their keys, drive them home, and let them know how unfair they are being the next day. Hopefully they will realize how bad of a friend they are being and they will get professional help.

Call them a cab or someone else to drive them
Often, if you’re out to dinner or enjoying a drink or two and your friend is with you, you can’t offer to drive them because you’ve been drinking as well. If this is the case you should contact a cab, ride service, or another friend who can drive both of you home. Again, don’t let your friend always rely on you to make the call, but if it’s your only option, go for it. Hopefully your friend will soon realize he or she has a problem and needs to stop drinking.

The best way to prevent drunk driving is to have them not drink at all, but if that’s not an option at this point, try having them install a interlock device, drive for them, or regularly call them a cab. If you want to show your friend some car breathalyzer prices, contact QuickStart Ignition Interlock today.

Ignition Interlock Myths You Probably Believe (But Shouldn’t)

car breathalyzer costsIf you have been convicted for a DUI, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle to reinstate your license. While the regulations regarding ignition interlock devices may differ from state to state, no matter where you are, you’ve probably heard some myths regarding these tools.

Whether you believe that car breathalyzer costs are ridiculously high or that a rolling reading will shut off your car while you’re driving, we’re here to set the record straight. Below are some of the most common myths regarding ignition interlock devices — debunked.

MYTH: Using an ignition interlock device will drain your car battery

Reality: Unless you don’t start your vehicle for around 10 consecutive days, this device won’t drain your battery to the point where your car can’t start. When your car isn’t being operated, an interlock device will use less than 1/4 of an amp; when it’s preparing for a test, it uses 1/2 of an amp. If your vehicle is fully functioning, the device really won’t impact your battery at all.

MYTH: Rolling tests are extremely dangerous because they’ll shut off your engine

Reality: First of all, the device can only keep your vehicle from starting; it cannot shut down your vehicle once it’s been started. A rolling test will require you to test your breath somewhere between five and 15 minutes after the vehicle has been started, after which it will require a test every 45 minutes or so. When a test is requested, the system gives you six minutes to take it, which means you have plenty of time to pull over to a safe location. If you were to fail the test (or avoid taking it), the device wouldn’t shut off your engine. Rather, it would just record the violation, and in some cases, engage your alarm and lights.

MYTH: If you’ve eaten spicy food earlier in the day, you may fail your reading

Reality: This one is partially true. An interlock device will keep your car from starting if your test registers above a preset BAC level, typically 0.02 or above. But certain foods like cinnamon rolls, donuts, alcohol-filled candies, or spicy cuisine could impact your device’s ability to read your BAC levels accurately — but only for a few minutes after you ingest them. If you blow into your interlock device immediately after consuming these foods, it could give a false positive reading. To be absolutely sure, you should wait a little while to drive and rinse your mouth with non-alcoholic mouthwash before blowing into the device. In general, these devices are designed to prevent false positives.

MYTH: A car breathalyzer costs too much

Reality: You may assume that car breathalyzer costs are too high, but they’re actually not that big a financial burden. An interlock device will cost $70 to $150 to install, and then using the car breathalyzer costs $60 to $80 per month. Sure, no one likes paying extra fees, but when faced with the choice of having access to your own vehicle or being forced to take a taxi or bus wherever you go, the interlock device is a better option.

At QuickStart, you can get the best in ignition interlock Phoenix has to offer without the embarrassment of an obvious device. For more information about our products and how we can help you, contact us today.

What Every Driver Should Expect When Installing a Car Breathalyzer

car breathalyzerA DUI conviction is a life-changing event for everyone involved. This is especially true for repeat offenders. The court appearances and steep fines are a major part of being convicted with a DUI; in addition, the courts typically require repeat offenders to install a breathalyzer device in their cars to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC) while on the road.

Currently, about 150,000 car breathalyzers have been installed in cars across the country. Planning on installing an ignition interlock device — or car breathalyzer — in your vehicle? Be ready for these three things:

How they work
Ignition interlocks prevent drunk drivers from heading out on the road by detecting one’s BAC and locking the car’s ignition if it exceeds the legal BAC limit. Studies have shown that these devices reduce the number of repeat DUI charges by about 39% — and this is true even after the driver has their ignition interlock device removed.

Meeting state and local regulations
Did you know that all car breathalyzers are required to follow both state and regulations for BAC? If your breathalyzer detects that your BAC exceeds the limit, the ignition interlock will lock your vehicle for a certain amount of time. You’ll have to re-take the breathalyzer test after this time period passes until your BAC drops below the legal limit. And remember: in a number of states, it’s possible to be arrested and even convicted of DUI even if your BAC is below 0.08.

The rolling retest
A common feature of interlock devices is the rolling retest, which requires you to blow into your car breathalyzer anywhere from five to 15 minutes after starting the car. The rolling retest will then occur at random points throughout the rest of the trip, as well. If you fail the rolling retest, your car will either sound its alarm or its horn and lights will begin to flash on and off. The only way to turn either of these off is to pull over. Once you’ve pulled over, you’ll only be able to re-start your engine once you can pass the breathalyzer test again.

Getting a breathalyzer installed in your car is one of the best ways to prevent another DUI from taking place. For more information about these devices, contact us today.

Ignition Interlock Laws Help Stop Drunk Driving Before it Starts

ignition interlock deviceIt’s no secret that ignition interlock devices are an effective method to prevent repeat-offense drunk drivers. In fact, arrest rates are often reduced by 70% after interlock devices are installed. However, new research suggests that the mere threat of having to install a car breathalyzer after a first-time DUI offense may be enough to deter impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel of a car in the first place. [Read more…]

FAQ: Choosing and Installing an Interlock Device

interlockAcross the country, ignition interlock devices have proven to be one of the most effective strategies for reducing instances of repeat-offense drunk driving. In fact, studies have shown that drivers who have had an interlock installed in their vehicles reduce the risk of another DUI by 39% compared to offenders who never had an interlock device installed at all.

If you have been required to install a car breathalyzer, however, chances are that you have some questions about how the device works and how it will be installed. You may have even heard rumors about these devices. To bring you up to speed, here’s a quick guide to some of the most common questions throughout the process.

  1. How do I get an interlock device installed?
    You need to contact an authorized ignition interlock dealer to have the device properly installed in your vehicle. The process usually takes about 60 to 90 minutes, during which time the installer will go over the details of how to use it. You need to be present for the installation and notify the Motor Vehicle Division once the process is complete. In virtually all cases, the driver will have to pay for the device and installation.
  2. Are there significant differences between interlock dealers and products?
    Absolutely. Various interlock models may be more or less discreet, transportable, or heat-resistant. Living in Arizona, it’s especially important to find a model that can withstand hot temperatures while inside your car. Since you also need to conduct your monitoring appointments with the company you choose, it’s important to find one that will accommodate your schedule.
  3. Do I have to own the car in order to have the device installed?
    No. If the vehicle you drive is registered under someone else’s name, you simply need a notarized letter of permission from the owner to have an interlock device installed.
  4. What happens when I need to take my car in for repairs or service?
    QuickStart AZ’s interlock devices come equipped with a mechanics code that allows technicians to disable the device while conducting service or repairs on your vehicle. This is important both to make sure that the device does not record false evidence or tampering, and so that you don’t have to wait around to blow into the device so that your car will turn on.

Making an informed decision about your ignition interlock device will help make the process much smoother. So take the time to do your research and know what to expect about the installation process and the kinds of devices and services available to suit your needs.

Quickstart Interlock2175 E. 5th Street
Tempe, AZ 85281
888-717-8278