WA drink drivers forced to install alcohol interlock device

Monday, 19 September, 2016

WA drink drivers forced to install alcohol interlock device

Under new laws, if West Australians drink and drive they may be required to install an alcohol interlock device to their vehicle.

A public education campaign has been launched by Deputy Premier and Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey, five weeks ahead of the laws coming into force.

"The campaign will make it crystal clear that WA will now include alcohol interlocks as part of the penalties for drink driving," Harvey said.

Devices will be fitted to vehicles once drivers have served their drink driving penalty and will remain in place for at least six months.

The scheme is designed to capture first-time offenders convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (BAC of or above 0.15%) and repeat drink drivers who have been convicted of two or more drink driving offences (BAC of or above 0.05% or 0.02% for P-platers) within a five-year period.

"The campaign highlights the new laws and also the impact these devices have on a person's freedom when they have to blow into an alcohol interlock every time they get into their vehicle," said Harvey.

"As part of our commitment to address the root cause of drink driving, offenders who breach the scheme will also have to undergo alcohol assessment and treatment counselling."

Offenders will be financially responsible for installing the alcohol interlock system, which will cost approximately $1600. The vehicle will start once the driver registers at 0.02 or less; however, there may be a requirement to undergo further testing during the journey.

The state government has allocated $148.5 million for the scheme in 2016–17, which has been drawn from the Road Trauma Trust Account. The trust account is composed of funds received via speed and red light camera fines.

Alcohol is a factor in about one-quarter of fatal crashes and one in 10 serious injury crashes on WA roads.

The alcohol interlocks will come into effect 24 October 2016.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Samo Trebizan

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