Smart Start Is Not the Only Game in Town Anymore - Thanks for the Comment Smart Start

I received the following comment from Neil Guerrier (an assistant manager with Smart Start - unbiased, no doubt!) a couple of days ago regarding my post related his company and the DWI Divert Program,

If any other company offered and IID with a camera that worked, perhaps offenders would have a choice, as it stands however....

Also, Dane, you lose any credibility by mentioning that you have a friend that works for a competitor.

The point is with the Divert program is that a device with a camera is required. Any other client is given a choice of what provider they wish to install with.

For years, judges and other court officials been screaming for positive id on the person blowing into the device. Smart Start beat other companies to the punch with their devices.

Also, if i remember correctly, there was an incident in Houston a few years ago where a Judge was part owner or investor in an Interlock company, was ordering clients to install with that company only...

Actually, I'm glad he left the comment because I have needed to write an update to my previous post. 

What Neil failed to point out in his criticism of me is that Smart Start is not the only company that now has a contract with the Harris County DWI DIVERT Program.  In fact, my friend's company (the one that made me biased presumeably) EZ Interlock is now an approved provider of services for the DWI DIVERT Program.  Apparently the cameras are working now.

I would like to think my post had something to do with EZ Interlock getting approved to be a provider for the DIVERT Program - competition is good for all, right Neil?

Thank you Neil for giving me a reason to write this post.

Smart Start and DWI DIVERT Program - What a Scam

What a scam Smart Start has with the the DWI DIVERT Program.  As it turns out, one of the requirements of the DIVERT Program is that the person who enters into the contract with the Harris County District Attorney's office is required to go through Smart Start to have an ignition interlock device.

So why is it a scam?  Well, many of the Judges in Harris County require as a condition of bond to have an ignition interlock device put in a vehicle as a condition of bond.  There are a few companies that offer this service, including EZ Interlock that is run by a friend of ours, John Burns.  John has been around the courthouse since long before I started practicing law.

If a citizen decides to go through a company other than Smart Start for the ignition interlock as a condition of bond, he/she will be required to switch companies (cost to be paid by client) to Smart Start if they decide to participate in the DIVERT Program.  It seems to me that someone (hint: Smart Start) stands to make a lot of money on this new DIVERT Program.  What is the need for someone that has no problems with the ignition interlock device as a condition of bond to change companies?  why do they need to absorb the additional cost of changing companies?  Seems like a pretty good money maker for Smart Start to me.  Wonder who made this monopolized deal go through and if any money changed hands in that process?