Tracking and managing an ignition interlock program can be a challenge for many states. Following the passage of Virginia’s all-offender ignition interlock legislation in 2012, the Virginia Highway Safety Office implemented a Traffic Records Electronic Data System (TREDS) Ignition Interlock Project to improve Virginia’s manual ignition interlock workflow process.
Prior to TREDS, the state’s ignition interlock installation program was entirely manual and was prone to an inefficient workflow process. If a driver was ordered by the court to install an interlock device, the offender would visit an Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) office and manually complete paperwork to enroll in the program. The offender would select an interlock vendor, and the ASAP would send the paperwork for installation authorization to the vendor via fax or email. The vendor then would contacts the offender to schedule installation of the interlock device, and the ASAP case manager would monitor the interlock requirement monthly. All steps in the process were done through a manual process of faxes and emails.
The passage of the law led to concerns about a large increase in ignition interlock installs, as well as the increased workload on staff and the ability of staff to process cases in a timely manner as prescribed by the new law. These concerns were quickly realized when Virginia saw its ignition interlock installations increase 87 percent, from 4,725 in 2012 to 8,815 in 2014.
This TREDS project was created to standardize and automate the statewide ignition interlock workflow. This automated system better protects personally identifying information by reducing emails and fax correspondence, and it has also reduced administrative time and errors in processing cases. It allows Virginia to comply with state law that requires timely installation, calibration and monitoring of the ignition interlock systems improves communication between the offender, the interlock vendor and the ASAP case manager.
The system provides for automated collection and tracking of interlock installs, system alerts at various levels of the case lifecycle, centralized data access for all 24 local ASAPs and the four interlock vendors, DUI offender data for analysis and interlock vendor data downloads. New features were added to the system in 2014 for expanded workflow and process improvements, including reporting for interlock installs, calibrations and removals allowing the 24 local ASAP programs to view and analyze the event data in a more granular way; additional data fields to capture information relevant to the case; and a validation feature to ensure a case was not closed prior to the program end date, preventing re-work and ensuring cases were complete before being closed.
Through TREDS, the Virginia Highway Safety Office project collects ignition interlock case, crash and DUI data which can be used at both state and national levels to identify highway safety problems and trends and create programs to combat these issues.
The program, which uses technology to ensure quality and improve workflow, is a model for other states facing challenges with their interlock systems.