Launch of Alcohol Interlock Pilot second phase

  • Louise Upston

This week the second phase of the alcohol interlock pilot is being launched nationally, including active involvement with the offenders’ probation officers, says Corrections Minister Louise Upston.

$694,000 has been secured from the Justice Sector Fund for phase two of the Alcohol Interlock pilot. Phase two will see Corrections fund a further 240 alcohol interlock devices for eligible offenders serving community sentences for drink driving offences.

“Interlocks are a tool which helps stop offenders driving under the influence, making our roads and communities safer,” says Ms Upston.

“The first phase of the pilot funded 175 alcohol interlock devices which are connected to the start-up mechanism of a vehicle and immobilise it until the driver has successfully passed a breath alcohol test.

“To be eligible to be part of the phase two pilot an offender must have a sentence of Intensive Supervision of over 12 months, have a previous conviction of driving while intoxicated and be motivated to adhere to the alcohol interlock requirements.

“The second phase of the pilot will include probation officers being more closely involved in monitoring offenders’ progress with their interlock licences and responding to any violations”.

Research has shown that when monitored and matched with treatment and interventions, alcohol interlocks can support an offender’s long-term behavioural change. Internationally, the use of alcohol interlock devices has shown results of between 64 to 70 per cent reduction in recidivism of alcohol-impaired driving.

“Offenders charged with drink driving can face lengthy driving disqualification periods imposed by the courts. This can cause disruption for offenders continuing to work and being able to provide for their families.

“Stable employment is a key factor influencing offenders to turn away from a life of crime. The interlock programme means offenders can keep their jobs and continue to look after their families without putting their community at risk.”