30/05/2013 at 9:49 pm #176589736
I’ll just stick with the basics since I tend to ramble once I start telling an actual story.
Got two DUIs back in 2001 within a few months of each other, lost license.
Went to inpatient rehab/treatment on May 5, 2002, stayed a year. Sober ever since.
Decided a couple of years ago to get my license back. Paid my fines, took the classes and had the Monitech device installed. That was March of 2012. I’m required to maintain it for three years and I’m fine with all of that. I’m just glad I didn’t kill someone back in the day.
Uneventful except for a faulty unit there in the beginning, a couple of timeouts from not blowing hard/soft enough here and there and a “false start” last February. I had no idea what was going on but the device was going crazy. I drove straight to the service center.
The technician then told me what happened- I’d started the car, forgot something in thOe house, turned it back off to go back inside, then went back to the car and drove off. He had me write a few sentences saying I didn’t know before that day what a false start was (which I didn’t) and that I now understood and it wouldn’t happen again. There was no charge.
A few days ago, I get a letter saying my license is suspended effective tomorrow. No reason, I called the DMV and they said Monitech reported a possible violation. I said it was impossible. When she told me the date I didn’t argue anymore and said Iwould send in my written request for an appeal. She was nice and said that was fine. I got the fax number and sent it in.
Has anyone else heard of anything like this at all? I called Monitech twice to talk to two individuals independantly. Both said they didn’t see any fails ever on my report. They both said they’d send me my files but I don’t know what the files contain. The point is, we’ve never had an issue with the device. Has anyone else been called into the DMV for a purely technical issue with no alcohol reading at all? Any feedback as to what is going on in my life right now would be appreciated because I am thoroughly confused.
31/05/2013 at 2:05 am #176597289
Just like anything else, there is a margin of error for both the device, and the user, and for the system itself.
When I received a similar letter six months ago, I was also shocked b/c I knew of a few issues, but I also knew I had nothing to drink for a very long time, and that it had to be an error somwhere. It was so demoralizing to think I could lose my lisence b/c of a technical error.
I requested my file, and was shocked to see how many “rolling fails” I had, when I had not had anything to drink, and the machine didn’t give me any warrning upon starting my car. I really sat and studied it. I knew about the times I had eaten in the car and got a rolling .03, then it was down to a .000 5 minutes after swishing with water. All the other ones, I had no idea at all.
So, after realizing I was “blowing numbers” despite no drinking, I decided to stop my life-long habit of eating in the car, and I always keep water in the car just in case of some other weird fluke.
Like you, I have also had times where the device just acted schizo, and had all kinds of weird, nonsensical messages on it. Both times this happened, I immediately had the handset switched out, and filled out an explaination form about it.
Early-on I also had some times where I was about to park and was asked to blow right before. In my logical mind, I thought “I dont have to blow, I am about to stop driving in 30 seconds.” But the machine sees that as a “ignoring” to blow. So, I’ve learned I must blow each and every time it requests, even if it doesnt make sense.
I also am a little hyper, so sometimes I tend to absent-mindedly turn the ignition switch on before the device actual says the words “you may start vehicle now.” As, I had already blown, and I have nothing to drink so I know its going to pass, but I start the ignition prematurely. So, I’ve had to slow myself down on that too, and just move slower.
The bottom line is, it sounds like you have had some device failure plus some user issues, with just trying to get used to the device. I say, get your paperwork in order and get an appointment for the appeal. Tomorrow, call NC DMV and explain, they should be able to rescend the “immediate” suspension until your hearing, which would probably end up being 2-3 months from now.
So, I learned that I must blow each and every time it asks, even if it doesn’t make sense. I
04/06/2013 at 12:15 am #176597296
Thanks for replying. I contacted a lawyer today and he wants $1500. I just don’t have the money. If I put it all on credit cards it will screw us up because we’re about to close on this house. Did you get a lawyer and how did your hearing go?
04/06/2013 at 1:26 am #176597299
I have read that having an attorney at the hearing is seen as an admission of guilt, so I didnt get an attorney (couldnt afford one, anyhow.)
Hopefully you have requested your file. That should explain what you need to know. It really sounds like a device problem.
You shouldnt be concerned about the ?false starts; if you turn off your engine, the NC device gives you a small amount of time to re-start it. If you had gone over that period of time, you would not have been able to start your ignition without blowing again.
My hearing was nerve racking. I have been through a lot of turmoil and losses that are un-related to the dui. The entire idea that I could lose my license AGaiN doing Nothing, was very, very disturbing. It stil is, because there is a lot of potential for error without even drinking one drop of alcohol.
But it went ok. I just told the truth, and brought my file in with me. I was also prepared to demonstrate proper use of the device, including pre-swish with water. But I wasn’t asked to demonstrate.
I just keep trying to move forward and stay as positive as possible.
04/06/2013 at 7:20 am #176597300
I have gone over this so many times and I cannot come up with $1500 without putting a strain on our family’s finances. Just got my paperwork today from Monitech. The day we went in for that service check when the device went crazy is the date of the non-compliance report. Under reason it says:
Vehicle Off Test Ignored
RUNNING TEST REVIEW, BAC: 0.011, Event Date: 2/7/2013 5:28:34 PM
RUNNING TEST REVIEW, BAC: 0.01, Event Date 2/8/2013 5:31:10 AM
I have no idea what to make of this- 5:30 in the morning is when my husband leaves for work, 5:30 in the evening is when he comes home. They’ve had mandatory overtime for I don’t know how long. And my husband doesn’t drink at all. I know it doesn’t matter to the DMV who was driving the car and I don’t plan to try to argue or prove that my husband had the car, but I don’t know how to defend myself against a running test of .01 if obviously the test to start the car didn’t register anything. It doesn’t even tell me what the tests before and after show so they look like isolated incidents that happened after the car started without detecting anything at all. I know it will start if the BAC is low enough but if there was anything the device detected, I would think it would be listed here.
And what does “Vehicle Off Test Ignored” mean? We definitely never ignore a test. I’ve pulled over on the side of the road many, many times to do the start tests where you have to turn the car off and then test again to get going. We don’t ever ignore a running test or anything having to do with the device. I am terrified of losing my license. This is more stress than I can handle. I have a chronic illness, I have two toddlers so I’ve always got a doctor’s appointment to go to. And if they take my license for a year and then put this thing back on my car for another three, what’s to keep me from complying for over a year like I have now and something like this happening again?
Does the DMV recognize the margin of error and do they take it into consideration? I would think so, but if they do, why are they calling me in? I don’t understand why it’s not obvious that this was not a case of drunk driving. If anybody can help me with any of these questions I would be very grateful. Thanks.
04/06/2013 at 6:03 pm #176597302
The following is based on you not drinking any alcohol at all. This is my situation,as well:
It seems pretty clear to me that your husband is eating or drinking something thats causing false positives. HUGE amounts of things can cause false positives, not just mouthwash or hairspray or other obvious things.
The situation is, you cannot eat/drink 15 minutes before blowing, and you must swish with water before you blow.
You probably need to find out the rules about other people driving your car. I am the only person who is ever in my car. I dont even let mechanics blow into it. When I have car work done, I stay with my car the whole time, and I blow into it if/when they need it to start. I have worked too hard on this to be ruined again b/c of what someone else has done (eaten or drank). If you find out that its not allowed, you really should set up a different driving arrangement where you are the only person driving that car. That could be in your favor at the hearing, that you are being pro-active.
With a 3 yr revocation, your rolling test used to have to be under .004. Now, it must be .000. The only way to do that is to be sure you have absolutely NO sugar residue in your mouth when you are driving. DMV koows that the legal limit is .080, and they know that .010 is extremely low, and usually is sugar residue. But they have overwhelming lobbying, and they have to respond to that. Are any of your rolling tests followed by ,000? That would be what you need to show that it was food residue, not drinking, that caused the false positive.
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