Drink-driver in interlock system first

Albany Advertiser

A first-time convicted drink-driver has become the first person in Albany to have an alcohol interlock system fitted under the State’s tough new drink-driving laws introduced last year.

The new laws, which were introduced in October, target serious and repeat drink-drivers by forcing them to have a breath-test machine fitted to their car.

The driver must blow a blood alcohol level under 0.02 per cent for the car to start.

First-time offenders convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (0.15 per cent) or repeat drink drivers convicted for two or more offences above excess 0.05 or 0.02 for P-platers within a five-year period will have the device fitted to their car at their own cost of $1600.

The Albany man was caught driving under the influence by police and suspended from driving for 10 months in the Albany Magistrate’s Court in June and ordered to have an interlock device installed.

Just one month later, he was granted an extraordinary licence by the court.

Great Southern traffic enforcement Sergeant Andrew Norton said while the man needed to blow under 0.02 for his car to start, conditions of an extraordinary licence required the man not to consume any alcohol and to record a zero blood alcohol content.

He said the interlock system would also require the driver to prove they were under the legal alcohol limit throughout the trip.

“During the journey, it will prompt him to blow in it again,” he said.

“The car doesn’t stop completely — if the driver doesn’t comply with the prompt, it’s like an alarm going off.

“The driver is compelled to comply with it or it lights up like a Christmas tree.”

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