The news comes from QLD Minister for Transport, Rachel Nolan, in a news release from the QLD Government.
Due to come into effect by the end of the year thanks to new legislation passed by the QLD Govt, the release states that: 'high-risk drink drivers will be made to install an alcohol ignition interlock device or be prohibited from driving for two years'.
More than 12,000 drink driving offenders per year are set to be affected, something that could radically alter the rate of alcohol related incidences in the Sunshine State.
Minister Nolan said that: 'In 2009 there were 71 road crash fatalities involving drink drivers or riders, making up 20.8% of the state's road toll (331).
'This amendment is another milestone for the Queensland Government's commitment to ridding our roads of drink drivers.
'These changes target drink drivers who pose a particular risk either due to the severity of an offence they've committed or because they have a history of repeat drink driving offences', said the Minister.
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The Minister's statement explains that 'a breath alcohol ignition interlock device is an in-vehicle breath test instrument connected to the ignition, in which the driver must blow into the breath test unit and register a BAC (blood alcohol) limit registers below the predetermined level or the device prevents the car from starting.'
Recalcitrant drivers who aren't willing to pay If a driver chooses not to install an interlock, the 'I' condition will remain on their licence for two years, prohibiting them from driving during that period, and the Ministerial statement explains that 'further penalties including fines and a licence disqualification will apply for those who do not comply with the interlock ('I') licence condition.'
The 'I' license condition will be 'mandatory for high risk drink drivers including":
- First time offenders with a blood alcohol reading more than 0.150 percent
- Those who have repeatedly been caught for drink driving within a five-year period
- Offenders charged with dangerous driving while adversely affected by alcohol
- Or drivers who fail to provide a specimen of blood or breath for analysis.
'This device will force known drink drivers to take responsibility for their behaviour and not drink and drive,' Ms Nolan concluded.
The QLD Opposition pointed out that interlock trials had begun in 2001 and had taken far too long to be implemented.