In response to public support for tougher drink-driving laws, work has started in Victoria drafting legislation that will see all drinker drivers to fit interlock devices to their cars, at their own expense.
The interlock system, which the Herald Sun are dubbing ‘the bloody idiot lock,’ is fitted to the cars ignition and requires the driver to provide a breath test before every attempt to start the car. In cases when alcohol is detected the interlock prevents the car from starting, and electronic records are kept which enable the courts to decide if and when the device is removed.
Considering use of an interlock system costs $1049 for six months, and $6509 for four years, there is also hope that the ‘user-pays’ rule will also act as a powerful financial deterrent.
When you consider that approximately 6,500 drivers commit offences, which require them to use an interlock in Victoria each year, drink driving is an issue deserving of attention. It is thought that this number will top 17,000 when extended to all drivers convicted of drink driving.
Although I have no doubt that there will be those that will complain that these measures are too harsh for first time offenders, personally I disagree. I find the families of those killed or injured by those who were not fit to be on the road, a far more compelling argument for the need for tougher drink driving laws.