New laws will see repeat drink drivers and those with excessive blood alcohol levels pay for the installation of alcohol interlockers in their vehicles to keep them off the road.

The alcohol interlockers require drivers to pass a breath test before they can operate their vehicle.

Premier Anna Bligh and Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said the alcohol interlockers were part of the State Government’s determined bid to crack down on alcohol-related road fatalities.

“Drink driving continues to needlessly contribute to fatalities on Queensland roads,” Bligh said.

“It’s a terrible indictment on our road safety record – and on the fundamental culture among a section of Queensland motorists – that last year there were 71 road crash fatalities across the state involving drink drivers or riders.

“In the 12 months to 30 June 2008, more than 29,000 Queenslanders were convicted of drink driving – and of these,12,000 were repeat offenders or high-end offenders with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or above.

“That’s not only tragic for the families of those people who were killed in road fatalities, it’s unacceptable that people are still getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol and taking their own lives as well as the lives of others in their hands.

“Our government is determined to do everything possible to stop this senseless slaughter.”

The Transport Legislation Amendment Bill, introduced into State Parliament today, introduces the scheme of alcohol interlocks for high-risk drink drivers.

Nolan said alcohol interlocks are an in-vehicle breath testing instrument connected to the ignition.

“In other words the driver must pass the breath tests to be able to start the vehicle,” Nolan said.

“Under the changes high risk drivers will have an “I” condition attached to their licence for a minimum of 12 months.

“In order to be allowed back behind the wheel, drivers will be able to choose to install an interlock at their own expense for the 12 month period.

“If they choose not to install an interlock they will be prohibited from driving for two years."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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