Accountability – it’s a word you hear all of the time when talking about how to change a behavior. For people who are trying to commit to healthier eating or regular workouts, accountability often comes in the forms of a food diary or a workout partner or even employing a physical trainer or dietician to keep you on track and push you to meet your goals.
Accountability is also a word that is used a lot in the context of recovery from various substance addictions. Going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, finding a sponsor, a support group, or a therapist to address issues and help you benchmark your progress have long been common forms of accountability.
One form of accountability that people often forget about is electronic monitoring and the ability to share the monitoring reports with those who you want to be accountable to. And that is where my company comes in.
I work at a company called Intoxalock. Our company is primarily known as an ignition interlock device provider – we manufacture and service ignition interlocks for vehicles, commonly known as a car or vehicle breathalyzer for both clients and their monitoring authorities. Intoxalock also manufactures and provides monitoring reports for in-home alcohol monitoring systems.
Clients can be mandated by a court or an administrative body to install and use an ignition interlock devices as a part of their license reinstatement following a DUI/DWI conviction. However, we also have a client base across all 50 US states that are voluntary device users.
So what does that mean? We have users who elect to have an in-vehicle breathalyzer that will prevent them from operating their car if they are above the preset threshold. We also have users who have elected to have an in-home monitoring system that is set up to monitor their breath to test for the both the presence of and the level of alcohol in their system at certain times a day.
Many of our customers who voluntarily use one of our models do so for various reasons, including as a way to stay accountable. We have customers who use the device to verify their commitment of sobriety to their partner, extended family, and in some cases, the doctors who treat them and help them.
There are many benefits to using a voluntary breathalyzer device that potential customers should consider:
– Personal commitment to regular check-ins.
– Proven results that can be delivered or accessed by your designated support system.
– Data that can be used to benchmark progress with a physician or therapist.
– A proven tool in achieving behavior modification towards risky alcohol consumption.
– A proven tool to separate drinking from driving.
Ignition interlock devices are the most frequently used device to prevent drunk driving for a reason – they are incredibly effective. Even if the customer is choosing to use the device rather than being required by legal means, the results are still same. Statistics have demonstrated that where ignition interlock laws are introduced, alcohol-involved fatalities are declined by 8% or more (McGinty, 2017). Additionally, repeat drunk driving offenses were reduced by 58% (CA DMV, 2016). If you are worried that you or your family member may relapse, the device could prevent the loss of life or an injury.
One of our client’s at Intoxalock shared his appreciation for the device and the role it played for his family in providing them with peace of mind as well as part of their daughter’s overall treatment.
“My daughter never received a citation for DWI. Her mom and I learned of her drinking problem and were counseled to get the device to protect her, ourselves, and anyone she might encounter on the road while impaired. It has been a very heart wrenching road for her, and her family, but today she is sober, and working hard at life. We have reclaimed our daughter, her daughter has reclaimed her mother, and the family is mostly whole again. The device was a large part of our success and peace of mind, and we are very grateful.” – Bob, father of a voluntary Intoxalock customer.
Choosing an interlock device as one of the tools for recovery could be a great choice for you if you are someone who is inspired by daily successes or who is best motivated by regular accountability check-ins. We do have customers who opt for voluntary devices so that their doctor and other support partners can see their results as a form of both accountability and progress. Allen, who is a voluntary client explains why he opted to use the IID, “I am trying to do good by my family and doctor by implementing an interlock.”
While we want to advocate for the use of an ignition interlock device if it fits your needs, we also want to stress that the use of the device is just one solution in a wide range of tools and practices that should be utilized in the recovery process.
One of our clients, who was not originally a voluntary client, but who was using the device in conjunction with treatment for alcohol and drug addiction explains why he continues to use the device voluntarily now that his legal requirement has ended.
“Those going to a rehabilitation center for alcohol use, you know the device is helpful for them too because now… if you’re intoxicated, and you have one of these devices added to your vehicle, it can keep you from driving. You can keep your car [by protecting your license],” – Joe, a state mandated client who chose to become a voluntary client at the end of his first lease.
Intoxalock ignition interlocks can be installed in any motor vehicle. Due to the fact that voluntary devices do not require reporting to state governments, they are available at lower price points than legally mandated devices. Voluntary devices are typically about $2 per day. Choosing to use a voluntary car breathalyzer to monitor sobriety, provide results via reports, set a schedule for check-ins and accountability to your support system, therapist or physicians, and prevent the capability of operating a vehicle while impaired in the case of intoxication is a safe, responsible, and effective step.