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Wednesday, 04 December 2013 15:03

WA government to crack down on drink drivers

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Drink drivers beware - the WA government has announced plans to force repeat offenders fit breath-testing immobilisers to their cars.

WA Police Minister Liza Harvey told reporters the government plan would apply to those caught driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or above and 0.05 or above for the second time.

"When you reapply for your driver's licence after having it disqualified or cancelled, if you're one of these people that have flagged that you might have a problem with alcohol and driving, you'll have to have an interlock device fitted to your vehicle," Harvey told Fairfax radio on Wednesday, adding that she is aiming for the legislation to be introduced early next year.

AAP reported the car will start if the driver records a blood-alcohol level below 0.02, allowing for alcohol found in some medications and a margin of error with the device.

"That said, though, if your blood alcohol level rises during the trip, the machines will be calibrated to make you retest during your drive and that will be random - it may be three minutes after you've started driving or 20 minutes," Harvey said.

"If you have more than two attempts, you get locked out of the device.

"If people have a couple of instances where they blow over 0.02, the information from the device gets downloaded every month and there will be referrals for those people to some counselling sessions through the Drug and Alcohol Office."

Anyone who must use the device but drives someone else's car to get around it faces having the vehicle impounded for 28 days, while if they need to drive for work, that vehicle must also be fitted with a device, which costs $1600 to rent, she said.

The move follows new laws introduced in Victoria this month by its Liberal government that mean far harsher penalties for drivers who use their phone.

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