Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Interlock measures toughened up

Disqualified drink-drivers will have interlocks that take photos installed in their vehicles under changes to Victoria's alcohol interlock program.

DARREN LINTON May 28, 2014 3:25am

Alcohol interlock devices capable of taking photographs to prevent cheating will become mandatory for all disqualified drink-drivers.

The devices are fitted under a court order when convicted drink drivers apply to get their driver’s licence back. The interlock will not allow the vehicle to start if the driver blows more than .02.

Victorian Roads Minister Terry Mulder said the alcohol interlock program was being extended to include all first offenders with a blood alcohol content of .07 or more, first offenders with a BAC under .07 whose licences are cancelled, and all probationary, learner and repeat offenders.

‘‘As an added security measure, the Coalition Government is requiring camera-activated ignition interlock devices to be used by offenders, to help identify who has provided the breath sample,’’ Mr Mulder said.

‘‘Alcohol interlocks are proven to reduce repeat drink driving by up to 64 per cent while they are fitted.

‘‘This program has already prevented people affected by alcohol from driving their vehicles more than 250000 times.’’

Alcohol interlocks are installed by approved service providers at a cost of $150 and then cost $140 a month to operate.

Mr Mulder said technological advances meant in the long-term alcohol interlocks were likely to be a standard on all new vehicles.

‘‘In the meantime, Victoria is leading the way in taking action to reduce the menace caused by drink-driving offenders,’’ he said.

Mr Mulder said drink-drivers were responsible for 25 to 30 per cent of deaths and 11 per cent of serious injuries in Victoria.

Thirty per cent of drink-drivers involved in fatal crashes are repeat offenders.

‘‘Now is the time to take strong prevention measures to further combat drink driving which remains an unacceptably high cause of road trauma,’’ he said.

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