Tougher penalties in force

Posted on 14 July 2018

Drink drivers face tougher penalties after new laws came into effect from Monday, October 24.THE WA Government are getting tough on drink drivers with new alcohol interlock laws which came into effect from Monday, October 24.

High end and repeat drink drivers will be required to install an alcohol interlock in their vehicle, if convicted of particular drink driving offences.

Offences include drivers which record a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or more ordangerous driving causing death orinjury where DUI was an element

Other offences are any dangerous driving causing bodily harm where DUI was an element or two offences within five years having a blood alcohol contentbetween 0.05 per cent and 0.149 per cent or failure to comply with giving a breath sample.

Road Safety Commissioner Kim Papalia said the WA Alcohol Interlock Scheme was not retrospective, so all drivers would start with a clean slate from Monday.

“This is a chance for those drivers convicted of drink driving offences in the past to change their behaviour, and not get behind the wheel of a vehicle if they have been drinking,” he said.

Convicted drink drivers who wish to drive after the initial disqualification period will have an ‘I’ condition placed on their licence for at least six months andmust pay to have the alcohol interlock device installed by an approved service provider.

Vehicles will also have to be presented to a service provider every month for the performance data to be monitored, at the cost of the interlock driver which isestimated to be $1600 over a six-month period.

Offenders who do not have an interlock fitted will not be allowed to drive.

It is expected between 4000 and 6000 high end and repeat drink drivers will be required to enter the WA Alcohol Interlock Scheme every year.

Smart Start Interlocks is set tobecome a certified supplier of the interlock system, its ownerJohn Doherty spoke toWATodayandsaid the device would not inhibitany existing functions of the vehicle other than the starting circuit whichconnects into the indicator and horn for warning signals.

Mr Doherty said participants would be contacted by an agent to come back and collect their car and watch videos and do some training on using the device.

Mr Doherty saidthe systems are leased on a monthly-payment basis, with participants having to pay an installation fee.

Passmore Automotive is an agent for Smartstart in Busselton. The service area is a 150km radius from their workshop.

According to WA Police, to September 30this year, 45 people were killed on WA roads where alcohol was suspected in a driver or motorcycle rider.

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