Did you know that new legislation was introduced in recent years to combat drink driving?
For the past few years Courts have been able to impose an alcohol interlock device on drink drivers who fit into certain categories.
An alcohol interlock device is a device fitted to a person’s car that requires the person to essentially complete a breath test before the vehicle can be switched on. The user blows into a mechanism that reads the driver’s blood alcohol content, and if the device detects any alcohol at all the vehicle will not start.
The rationale behind the introduction of the Alcohol Interlock Program in New South Wales is to stop people from being able to drive their cars if they have been convicted of certain driving offences, and to also train offenders to separate their drinking from driving.
The alcohol interlock device also includes a camera that takes a photograph of the person providing the breath sample so that drink drivers cannot ask someone who is sober to provide a sample and start a vehicle for them. Further, randomly timed breath tests must also be passed during a driver’s journey.
Any alcohol interlock period is also predicated by a disqualification of the offender’s Driver’s Licence.
The following offences attract mandatory disqualification and interlock periods:
• Low-range PCA (second or subsequent offence) – disqualification period of one to three months, interlock period of 12 months
• Mid-range PCA (first offence) – disqualification period of three to six months, interlock period of 12 months
• Mid-range PCA (second or subsequent offence) – disqualification period of six to nine months, interlock period of 24 months
• High-range PCA (first offence) – disqualification period of six to nine months, interlock period of 24 months
• High-range PCA (second or subsequent offence) – disqualification period of nine to 12 months, interlock period of 48 months
There are a number of other offences that also attract mandatory disqualification and interlock periods, such as driving under the influence of alcohol and refusing to provide a breath sample.
In some circumstances the Court may consider making an exemption order enabling an offender to avoid an interlock period. If an exemption order is made however, the mandatory minimum and maximum licence disqualification periods increase.
The costs of an alcohol interlock device are approximately $2,500 per year, which is payable by the offender.
If you have been charged and need some advice, contact us on 4707 9991.