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.

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.

Holiday Road Safety: Tips and Reminders from Arizona Officials

car breathalyzer pricesThe holiday season is officially in full swing, which means it’s time to celebrate. But as always, it’s important to remember to stay safe and drive sober.

The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is hoping to reinforce that message this year with the help of local police squads across the state. Their annual holiday DUI enforcement and sober designated-driver campaign started at the beginning of December and provided some helpful advice and reminders.

“Always use a designated driver. Call a cab, call an Uber, call a Lyft,” if you’re incapable of driving home, said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

“And all I would ask is something very simple: Let’s make it socially unacceptable to be impaired and operate a motor vehicle,” added Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski.

If there’s one thing you don’t want to add to your holiday wishlist, it’s a permanent DUI record. AAA in Arizona estimates that even a first-time DUI offense can cost you up to $10,000 in fines, penalties, and legal fees, not to mention increased insurance rates and car breathalyzer prices. In all, alcohol-related car accidents are said to cost $59 billion in the U.S. every year.

While ignition interlock devices can help greatly reduce the number of repeat offenses for drunk driving, the best solution is not to get behind the wheel of a car while you’re impaired in the first place. To that end, AAA’s “Tipsy Tow” service will be returning to Arizona for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The service offers free towing up to 10 miles for drivers who need a hand getting home safely after a night out.

“If you are planning to partake in drinking,” said Stephanie Moe, corporate responsibility supervisor for AAA Arizona, “be sure you have a plan to get home safe. If that plan falls through, AAA’s Tipsy Tow is there if you need it.”

While the cost of a taxi or a tow certainly beats car breathalyzer prices, what’s most important is making sure that everyone traveling by road can have a safe and happy holiday season. Plan ahead for your celebrations and remember not to drink and drive.

If you don’t, you could end up with no choice but to install ignition interlock devices in your cars — if you’re lucky.

Maryland Lawmakers Look to Expand the Use of Interlock Devices Beyond DUI Convictions

interlock deviceEarlier this month, Maryland lawmakers expanded the rules of ignition interlock devices, requiring even first-time offenders convicted of a DUI to have a car breathalyzer installed in their vehicles. If a driver’s blood alcohol concentration registers too high, the ignition interlock will prevent the car from turning on.

Interlock device laws such as these are common, though they vary from state to state. Some only require them after repeat offenses or after a particularly egregious offense, though some — like Maryland — now require them after even one DUI.

Maryland named the new bill “Noah’s Law,” after a Montgomery County police officer who was killed by a drunk driver while operating a routine DUI checkpoint in Rockville, Maryland. Some lawmakers, however, including the prosecutor who first championed Noah’s Law, are calling for even more drastic interlock device measures to prevent alcohol-related offenses.

John McCarthy, the Montgomery County state attorney in Maryland, is pushing for additional measures that would require ignition interlock devices to be installed in the cars of people who circumvent DUI conviction through “probation before judgment,” or PBJ, dispositions. In these cases, the accused pleads guilty and agrees to probation in order to avoid charges that could result in a final conviction.

“I will tell you, in my county — and a lot of others — first offenders pretty routinely get PBJs,” McCarthy said, but Noah’s Law does not require ignition interlocks for PBJs — yet. He firmly believes that more interlock devices in cars will reduce casualties on the road.

“This thing actually saves lives,” McCarthy said.

Furthermore, there’s scientific evidence to back up those claims. A previous study by the University of Michigan suggests that putting ignition interlocks into every vehicle in America — DUI or not — could reduce alcohol-related road fatalities by 85% over the next 15 years.

The study also suggests that the financial benefits of mandatory interlock devices would outweigh the initial installation costs in just three years. Should car breathalyzers ever become universal, they would likely be set at a BAC limit much lower than the legal 0.08, more likely around 0.03 or 0.04.

McCarthy also believes that widespread interlock use could cut down on other alcohol-related offenses, such as domestic abuse or violence. But for now, his agenda remains focused on how to make drunk driving a thing of the past.

Help! I Failed My Car Breathalyzer, But I Haven’t Been Drinking

car breathalyzerIf you have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, chances are you already know that it will prevent you from turning on the engine if the car breathalyzer detects a blood alcohol content above a certain prescribed level. Usually, this level is set much lower than the legal driving limit of 0.08, often around 0.02.

These low levels are incredibly important for driver safety and preventing recurring drunk driving incidents, and they’re shown to be effective in reducing dangerous activity on the road. However, this doesn’t mean that those low numbers are fail proof.

Occasionally, drivers may find that they fail the breathalyzer test in the morning or throughout the day — even if they haven’t been drinking. There are a few possible reasons why this might be the case and simple steps to avoid any inconvenience this might cause.

  • Mouthwash: Some antiseptic mouthwashes contain alcohol. If it’s left lingering in your mouth, the breathalyzer could pick up on that alcohol content and mistake it for a BAC. Avoid using mouthwashes directly before entering your car, or simply wait a few minutes and try again.
  • Fermenting foods: Quick-acting carbohydrates, such as fruit juices and white breads, can mix with your stomach acid and produce a kind of fermentation in your gut. This, too, might register in your breath and cause the interlock device to register a high BAC level. Rinse out your mouth and drink plenty of water with meals to avoid this problem.
  • Residual alcohol: If it’s early in the morning and you were out drinking the night before, your BAC level could still be over the car breathalyzer limit. It’s important to give your body the full amount of time it needs to recover before operating a vehicle — so go sleep it off.

When you fail a breathalyzer test and your car won’t start, remember not to panic. You can always try again in a few minutes, but repeated failures may lock out your ignition completely. Stay aware and stay safe by paying attention to your body and your breathalyzer.

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Tempe, AZ 85281
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