Putting drink drivers on lock down

  • Craig Foss

Alcohol interlock sentences will soon become mandatory for serious and repeat drink-driving offenders, Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss says.

Anyone convicted of two or more drink-driving offences within five years and any first time offenders caught driving more than 3.2 times the legal alcohol limit will be subject to an alcohol interlock sentence.

An alcohol interlock is a breathalyser wired into a vehicle’s starting system. To start the vehicle, the driver must pass a breath test.

“Interlocks physically prevent an offender from drink-driving, ensuring their own safety but also the safety of their passengers and other road users,” Mr Foss says.

“Our road toll is much, much too high. Drink driving causes an average of 77 deaths, 436 serious injuries and 1252 minor injuries on our roads every year. 

“Mandatory interlock sentences are a targeted and effective way to help spare families, friends and communities the pain and suffering that inevitably follows each and every one of those crashes.

“Research shows interlocks reduce reoffending rates by about 60 per cent.

This measure is squarely aimed at those who choose to get behind the wheel with illegal and incredibly dangerous levels of alcohol in their system.

“The Government is committed to making New Zealand roads safer and will continue to focus on reducing harm through safer vehicles, safer speeds, safer road users, safer roads and roadsides.”

For more information: http://www.transport.govt.nz/interlocks