I am hoping for a class action lawsuit against this company. Two years ago I decided I would lease my interlock device from Smart Start. At the time, they had a good name for themselves and they were highly recommended.
Back in July of 2003 I was arrested for an OUI. Melanies Law came into effect in Massachusetts some time after my arrest.Years later I received a letter from the registry stating that I was able to reinstate my license for $700.00 and another $50.00 for a permit.
When I went to the registry they informed me I was unable to reinstate my license because I did not own a vehicle at the time and they had me under the interlock program. In order to reinstate my license I was forced to purchase a vehicle. ( Not to mention high insurance I would be paying due to my driving record).Along with a car payment, high insurance, and already paying $7,000.00 in fines I was informed that I would have to have the interlock installed in my car. This installment would cost me $175.00. and for two years I would have to pay a fee of $95.00 a month.
I have not drank in eight years and was eligible to have the device uninstalled on May 4th 2011.
On Saturday April 30th I had the device downloaded and paid the fee of $95.00. Somewhat hours later after using the device it came up as a failed test. Two minutes later I blew into the device and passed.
This information is not sent to the registry of motor vehicles. They will not see that you passed the test two minutes later , they will just see that you failed the reading.
On Monday May 2nd I had to go back to the company doing the downloads to get myself out of lockout mode. I had to pay $50.00 for the violation of a failed test in which I passed two minutes later.
I called the representative to see if she could bypass the fee of $50.00 due to the fact I had retested and passed. She informed me it could have been something I ate or hand sanitizer or something close to the device that had alcohol content in it. This was untrue. I did not eat that day, nor use hand sanitizer, nor was the device located to anything but my console.
She refused to reimburse me the $50.00. I informed her, back in 2009 I was reimbursed for the same incident that had just occured. She told me there was nothing she could do about it because I was using the newer device. (I never had a new device installed into the vehicle. )
I told the representative that this was stealing and I didn't have the money for this. She then told me she didn't appreciate the way I was talking after she had just gone over what I should say to the Hearing officer in order to have the device taken out. I told her I understand and as soon as I drove away from the station that downloaded the device for the violation, the interlock went off and so I blew into it. It came up as FAIL. I couldn't believe it.
I drove directly to the registry of motor vehicles and explained to them the device was to be taken out on May 4th and that I haven't drank for eight years and I just failed after leaving the place where I had just paid a violation fee for a previous failed test that occured on Saturday, April 30th. These FAILED tests were inaccurate due to the fact I don't drink and I that I passed two minutes later.The hearing officer suggested I write a letter of explanation when I was to come into have it uninstalled on May 4th, 2011.
On May 4th I arrived at the Registry of Motor Vehicles early in the morning and appeared before the hearing officer. She told me I was suppose to have the final download done before I came. I had to drive back to the station and have the final download in which I paid a fee of $20.00.
Then I was to go back to the Registry receive paperwork and bring it back to the station allowing them to uninstall the device which would cost me another $55.00.
After my final download was done I went back to the registry only to be denied. In order for the removal of the device you have to have clean readings for six months. How is this possible? When Smart Start has glitches or causes glitches with their own software. I now have to have the device for another three months in the car. I have obliged with all that has been required of me for a second OUI in which occurred in 2003. I don't drink and haven't for eight years. This is completely wrong and unethical!
How is anyone suppose to get ahead if they won't let you? It is stealing right out in the open. It has caused me a great deal of grief. In this economy I can't even afford to feed myself nevermind keep handing them my hard earned money. In the past few days I have given them close to two hundred dollars. I myself know this is a money making device and believe that the profit from this is very well hidden and unheard about! Something needs to be done!