Australian traffic authorities have found an innovative way to ensure convicted drunk drivers don’t repeat their offences … by legalising alcohol-detecting ignition locks on vehicles.
The State of South Australia on Tuesday introduced alcohol “interlocks” on cars driven by convicted drunk drivers in an attempt to cut the state’s road death toll by up to 20 per cent.
The Herald Sun reported that from next week, people convicted of drunk driving would have the option of fitting an ignition interlock to their vehicle. The car will then only start once the driver has blown into the device and registered a zero alcohol reading.
Under the government’s five-year plan to cut the road toll, the offender can apply for an interlock and get back behind the wheel after half of their licence disqualification period has elapsed.
But the interlock must remain for double the remaining disqualification period.
Transport minister Diana Laidlaw said participation in the scheme was optional and magistrates had been briefed on the new laws.
“Alcohol interlocking devices are the next major road safety initiative,” she said. “We want the programme introduced, whether for offenders over 0,1 or 0,15 or for the second or third offence.”