5 Strikes and You’re Out? Seriously? Wisconsin’s Proposed Anti-OWI Weapon Is a Dud.

wisconsin-repeat-owi-offenders-suspension-dudWisconsin’s  next salvo in the war against drunk driving could be a law aimed at repeat OWI offenders. A bipartisan bill is in the works which would revoke the licenses of five-time drunk drivers. They’ll lose driving privileges for 10 years, with no option for an occupational license.

The hopes are that the “five strikes and you’re out” policy will decrease the number of repeat OWI offenders.

Problem is, they’re unfounded hopes. The five-strike rule is misguided, a futile gesture not rooted in our current knowledge of how drunk drivers behave.

The fact is, more than half of suspended drivers drive despite not having a license. That happens during one-year suspensions. Does anyone think that such drivers are going to sit out a 10 year suspension? Not only will they drive, but since they are multiple offenders, the chances are they will drink as well as drive – unlicensed and uninsured.

Benefit to society – zero.

Legislators need to stop considering what feels good and instead adopt what works. Instead of a 10-year revocation, a 10-year ignition interlock requirement would make more sense. The offender would be able to drive, go to work or school, and obtain treatment. He or she would not be able to drive drunk. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

The idea of waiting until someone has 5 OWIs to take real action is almost comical. A desire to go easy on first offenders is natural (though ignition interlocks for first OWI offenders has shown to be effective in reducing recidivism). But giving a pass to second, third, and fourth offenders? Only a state with a drinking culture like Wisconsin’s could come up with a system that treats third through fifth offenders the same, as the state’s present system does. MADD is on record as stating that the proposed Wisconsin aw is not tough enough – interlocks are needed.

At the very least a third OWI should garner felony penalties. A fifth offense could carry a 10-year interlock requirement. That’s because anyone incorrigible enough to be arrested five times for driving drunk has a problem that needs treatment, which you don’t get sitting at home. The well-intentioned co-authors of the bill, Rep. Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay) and Rep. André Jacque (R-De Pere), are under the impression that the revocation periods are too short. They need to understand that the revocation periods are neither too short nor too long, but ineffective. That’s why ignition interlocks were invented.

To stop OWI offenses, what Wisconsin needs is what has worked well in neighboring Michigan: a combination Sobriety Court and ignition interlock requirement, so that offenders are supervised and treated, all the while being prevented from taking to the road while drunk. Stamping “REVOKED” on the license of someone with serious substance and behavioral problems is doing less than nothing.

Another bill still to be passed, Senate Bill 222, would attach an ignition interlock requirement to the driver, rather than the car, preventing offenders from using others’ vehicles while ordered to drive with an ignition interlock. That’s an excellent idea, one which will do more to make Wisconsin’s roads safer than the five-strike law will.

Custom Care Myrtle Beach South Carolina

LifeSafer Ignition Interlock Installation Center

Ignition Interlock Installation Myrtle Beach South Carolina Custom Care

LifeSafer welcomes Custom Care, Inc. in Myrtle Beach South Carolina into our network of ignition interlock installation specialists.

LifeSafer is pleased to announce the latest addition to our network of ignition interlock installation and service centers, Custom Care in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. Custom care have built their locally owned and operated business by providing stellar custom upholstery to the folks in Myrtle Beach South Carolina over the last thirty years! They are well known for their fine custom upholstery work, as well as for vehicle accessories for trucks, cars, motorcycles, boats… even golf carts! They will make a fine addition to our team of LifeSafer ignition interlock service centers. You can’t miss their shop, with The Mystery Machine (Scoobie Doo) and Tow-Mater (Cars) parked out front. We are happy to partner with such a staple in the community of Myrtle Beach!

Call 800-993-4990 to book your ignition interlock installation appointment today!

“When the electric top on our Volvo wouldn’t go up Rich and Rich dropped what they were doing and got us fixed up withing minutes. THANK YOU to two wonderful friendly guys who didn’t have to help but did! It’s difficult to find people like this in the business world… I definitely recommend them!” ~ Google 5 Star Review

Custom Care offers first-class ignition interlock installation, monitoring, calibration and servicing of your LifeSafer ignition interlock system, and they will also fit you out with a GPS system or other safety devices if that is what you are looking for. Just ask the folks in Myrtle Beach… take your car, truck, boat, ATV, or golf cart to Custom Care for some highly personalized customizations!

Read more about Custom Care in Myrtle Beach South Carolina »

The Custom Care shop is located at 205 Broadway Street Myrtle Beach SC, about 6 blocks from the beautiful sands of world famous Myrtle Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, right next door to the local florist, La Zelle’s Flower Shop, a few blocks south of Mr. Atlanticus Miniature Golf and about 1.4 miles north of the Whispering Pines Golf Course in Myrtle Beach. In addition to custom auto, truck, motorcycle, and marine upholstery and ignition interlocks, Custom Care also can install an alarm system or custom audio system in your boat, car or truck. They do tops, sunroofs, golf cart seats, electronics and custom truck accessories such as side-bars and the like. Welcome to the LifeSafer team!

California All-Offender Ignition Interlock Pilot Program to Continue Saving Lives – For Now

california Ignition Interlock Pilot ProgramBack in 2010 California decided to test a public safety idea that was gaining favor across the country: ordering ignition interlocks to be installed in the vehicles of all DUI offenders, including first offenders.

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

Not willing to enact sweeping legislation too quickly, California decided to try out an all-offender interlock policy in four counties: Tulare, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Alameda. If the policy suceeded there, it would be extended statewide.

Has it succeeded? Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says yes. The group cites statistics showing that the devices have prevented 158,000 incidences of drunk driving. Every failed test and subsequent failure to start the vehicle is logged, so it’s easy to determine how many impaired drivers were not able to take to the road during that time.

dont-drink-and-drive-californiaThe ignition interlock pilot program was set to expire this December, but it has been renewed for another 18 months. Not the ideal choice – that would be a statewide expansion – but at least legislators will get more time to see the device working. It is to be hoped that they will recognize the benefits of the only solution to drunk driving, apart from imprisonment, which actually prevents a drunk driver from reoffending. And unlike imprisonment, which is costly to society, the interlock is paid for by the one convicted.

At the time the program began, California was ahead of the curve. Now 25 states have adopted all-offender ignition interlock laws, and the state is a bit behind the curve. We hope legislators and public safety officials observe the results, do the math, and conclude, as half the country has, that ignition interlocks prevent drunk driving and save lives.

LifeSafer Location Spotlight in Athens Texas: Ignition Interlock of East Texas

athens-texas-lifesafer-ignition-interlockWhere do you go to make your vehicle safer in Athens Texas, or anywhere in Henderson, Kaufman, Rains or Van Zandt counties? Locals know to go to Ignition Interlock of East Texas.

Not only does this shop offer first-class installation, monitoring, calibration and servicing of your LifeSafer ignition interlock, but they will also fit you out with a GPS system or other safety devices. As experts in automotive electronics, Ignition Interlock of East Texas are ready to help answer your questions and make sure you get back on the road as soon as possible.

Ignition interlock device is a successful anti-DUI technologyWith four bays and opening hours on weekends, Ignition Interlock of East Texas is a convenient choice for your car breathalyzer needs. It’s the fast, friendly and convenient way to get rolling again legally.

Go here for more information or call 800-993-4990 to book your appointment now.

No Raccoons Were Squeezed in the Making of this DUI Hoax

raccoon-ignition-interlockWe’ve written about attempts to fool an ignition interlock before. The devices are designed to keep a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking, and they do just that. But some people love to think they can defeat them with tricks like balloons and hair dryers.

Those ploys don’t work. So it was with surprise that we noted a story about a man who successfully cheated an ignition interlock with a raccoon.

The story, which was seen on Reddit, was in the form of a photo of a police report about an intoxicated petty officer in Camp Pendleton, San Diego.

Suspect was too intoxicated to successfully start the vehicle, so he went into the park where he captured a raccoon … Individual utilized the racoon [sic] to blow into the interlock system successfully.

The report tells how the raccoon blacked out from too much squeezing, but came to later and proceeded to attack the driver, whose vehicle ended up in a swimming pool.

If it sounds too funny to be true, it is.

Level-headed readers, as opposed to the ones who picked up the story for their own papers, might note a few suspicious details:

  • Raccoons do not like to be picked up. They like being squeezed even less. The idea of getting several seconds of breath sample out of an angry raccoon is preposterous.
  • A person that drunk would have a very hard time holding on to a raccoon that did not want to be picked up. That would include all raccoons living in public parks.
  • In order to pass a breath test, the user needs to do more than blow. LifeSafer ignition interlocks, for example, require the user to hum while blowing, in order to remove any possibility of raccoons. Other devices make the user suck as well as blow. Raccoons are not know for cooperating in such pursuits.

raccoon-dui-tailDon’t get us wrong. We love this story. It was a good laugh. But if you have an ignition interlock in your vehicle, our advice is to use it as directed, passing tests by not drinking before you get  behind the wheel.

Or go ahead. Squeeze a raccoon. The police will be waiting. And a doctor too, we hope.

Drunk Driving, Chainsaws, and Weird Ads

Your Hump-Day Recess

We love weird, funny ads. We love them when they’re about vacuum cleaners and tortilla chips, but we especially love ones with a message that matters. Over the years ad agencies, filmmakers and public safety organizations have tried to use humor to sell the idea that drunk driving is a bad idea. Here’s a satirical message from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Kids with chainsaws – what’s not to like?

As a bonus, here’s another message from CDOT, which hasn’t been quite as well received as their stoned driving ads of last year. It’s probably the sideburns and polyester suit: too soon.

Your Hump Day Recess: Every Wednesday LifeSafer brings you something a little different, related to the worlds of road safety, to ease your progress over Hump Day and through the week.
Previous Hump Days: a German Ignition Interlock spoof from 1960, our Top 10 Worst Crash Tests, a different kind of Anti-DUI message, Budweiser’s dogged anti-DUI campaign, How Not to Dodge a Parking Ticket, the world’s worst traffic jams, a dramatic buzzed driving PSA , an offbeat ad from New Zealand, the world’s worst car modification, Vince and Larry, our favorite crash test dummies, some excellent Soviet anti-drunk-driving posters. a lesson on how buzzed driving can ruin your love life, South Australia to Drunk Drivers: Grow Up!, a woman calls 911 to report herself for DUI, Felix the Cat and Drunk Driving,  DUIs who crash vintage cars – (ouch!), and Woman Unwittingly Creates Self-Driving Car.

Custom Care Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Ignition Interlock Installation in Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Ignition Interlock Installation Myrtle Beach South Carolina Custom Care

LifeSafer welcomes Custom Care, Inc. in Myrtle Beach South Carolina into our network of ignition interlock installation specialists.

Where can you find The Mystery Machine and Tow-Mater parked side-by-side? Custom Care Inc. in Myrtle Beach South Carolina, that’s where! LifeSafer is pleased to announce that Custom Care in Myrtle Beach SC has joined our network of ignition interlock installation and service centers. Custom Care Inc. has been a staple in Myrtle Beach for over 30 years, and their superior workmanship and word-of-mouth reviews from the locals keep gaining them new customer’s, and keeps satisfied customer’s coming back again and again. Custom Care specializes in custom upholstery for you car, truck, van, ATV, boat… they’ll even customize your golf cart! They also offer electronics (car alarms, stereo systems, remote keyless entry) as well as truck accessories… running bars and the like. They are a locally owned husband and wife team that can customize your vehicle’s interior just the way you want. They also do custom stitched motorcycle seats that are beautifully eye-popping!

“Custom Care is the very best at every bit of work they do. They are very kind, honest, timely, professional, and easily stand behind their craftsmanship. They have done a lot of work for me and I have been amazed every time. I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”
~ Shaunda M. – Google Review – 5 Stars

Read more about Custom Care Inc. in Myrtle Beach SC »

Custom Care’s shop is conveniently located at 205 Broadway Street Myrtle Beach SC 29577. They’re about 6 blocks from the beautiful sands of world famous Myrtle Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, right next door to the local florist, La Zelle’s Flower Shop, a few blocks south of Mr. Atlanticus Miniature Golf and about 1.4 miles north of the Whispering Pines Golf Course in Myrtle Beach. So if you need an ignition interlock or want to wow your tribe with some stellar vehicle upholstery work, go see the folks over at Custom Care in Myrtle Beach, you’ll be glad you did!

Welcome to the LifeSafer Team!

Pennsylvania Senate Votes for Ignition Interlocks for First DUI Offenders

Pennsylvania-senate-approves-ignition-interlock-lawIt’s still a long way from becoming a law, but Pennsylvania is on the right track. Recently the State Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 290, which would allow first DUI offenders to be eligible for an ignition interlock immediately when their driving privileges have been suspended. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

The bill mirrors many others that have passed in recent years across the country. Currently 25 states have all-offender ignition interlock laws, Texas being the most recent state to make the change.

Why do first offenders get this treatment? Studies show that license suspensions on their own are not a reliable way to stop people from drinking and driving. Over half of suspended drivers are on the road at some point, unlicensed, uninsured, and possibly drunk.

An ignition interlock device is the only way to ensure that a vehicle is not being operated by a drunk driver.

ignition-interlock-law-coming-in-pennsylvaniaThe bill was sponsored by Senator John Rafferty (R-Berks/Chester/Montgomery). It now goes to the House, who will decide its fate. If luck holds out, Pennsylvania will become the 26th state to require all drunk drivers to install ignition interlocks. That will mean that a majority of US states embraces this life-saving technology.

Fingers crossed for Pennsylvania. And thanks are due to the State Senate for their unanimous approval of a very wise piece of legislation.

5,000 Convicted Drunken Drivers Could Soon Be Back on Illinois Roads. That’s a Good Thing.

5000 drunken drivers might be eligible to drive in illinoisNot long ago Governor Rauner signed HB 1446, the Illinois law which allows four-time convicted drunken drivers to take the wheel again, provided they satisfy certain requirements

  • They must have an actual hardship which driving must solve.
  • They must provide proof that they have completed a recognized rehabilitation program.
  • They must show proof that they have been drug- and alcohol-free for 3 years.
  • They must agree to install an ignition interlock, a device which prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

The Illinois Secretary of State’s office reveals that more than 5,000 state residents are theoretically eligible for license reinstatement under HB 1446.

Ignition interlock device is a successful anti-DUI technologyWhy is this good news? Don’t we want drunken drivers off the roads? That is, after all, the idea of a lifetime driving ban.

We do want them off the road, but the fact is that license revocations are very blunt instruments for promoting public safety. Many drivers ignore them altogether. And when they do, there’s no guarantee that they won’t be impaired by alcohol.

Offering these drivers a chance to drive again has some benefits.

  • It gives these offenders a chance to get their lives back together in a way that might not have been possible without the mobility that a vehicle provides. A car can open up job and educational opportunities.
  • The ignition interlock stipulation ensures that the driver will not be drinking and driving. In that way, it is superior to licence revocation, which offers no physical preventive measure beyond the offender’s willingness to obey the law.

Not all of these 5,000 people will be qualified to drive under the new law, but some will. And perhaps they will rejoin the community of drivers and abide by the state’s alcohol laws. Kudos to the legislators who sponsored the measure and Governor Rauner for giving them this chance while protecting public safety.

Redmond Transmission & Auto Repair

Ignition Interlock Installation in Redmond Washington

Ignition Interlock Installation Redmond Transmission and Auto Repair

LifeSafer welcomes Redmond Transmission & Auto Repair into our network of ignition interlock installation and service centers.

LifeSafer is pleased to announce the addition of Leo Rood and his staff over at Redmond Transmission & Auto Repair into our network of ignition interlock installation and service centers. Redmond Transmission & Auto Repair is a family owned and operated business in Redmond Washington, doing business since 1982. They have been providing full service auto repair and tune-ups to the people in Redmond Washington since 1997. They are a Certified NAPA Auto Care Center, and all of their repairs are backed by NAPA’s 12 month 12,000 mile nationwide “Piece of Mind” warranty. They offer free local pickup and delivery, free local shuttle service, senior discounts, shuttle service, rental cars, and also specializes in Hybrid/Electric repairs in addition to installing ignition interlock systems. Plus, you get a free safety inspection with your service. They also offer free local towing with most repairs.

I believe that they are very good at explaining what’s going on, and giving me a heads up on what is going on. They are very honest and they are always nice. They also are on time, and they work with my schedule.
~ Verified Customer Review at RepairPal.com – 5 Stars

Read more about Redmond Transmission & Auto Repair »

Their shop is conveniently located at 8537 152nd Avenue NE Redmond Washington 98052. About two blocks west of the Sammamish River, and about a block south of the intersection of NE 90th Street and 152nd Avenue NE. In addition to Redmond Washington, Redmond Transmission & Auto Repair also serves the Bellevue, Kirkland, Totem Lake, Woodinville, and Issaquah areas. They have a customer satisfaction rating that’s better than American Express, Lowe’s, Jet Blue, and Apple. It’s no wonder that they have customers that come from as far away as Monroe, Snohomish, Duvall, Carnation, Bothell, Seattle and North Bend. Their shop is that good! Welcome to the LifeSafer Team!