In NSW, the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program is an important measure to address drunk driving offences and promote road safety.
Purpose of the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program
The primary objective of the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program is to reduce the risk of repeat drink driving offences by requiring offenders to install an alcohol interlock device in their vehicles. These devices help prevent individuals from driving under alcohol, promoting safer roads for all.
Eligibility for the Program
To participate in the program, individuals must meet certain eligibility criteria, including:
- Being convicted of specific drink driving offences, such as high-range PCA, repeat offences, or refusing a breath test.
- Holding a current driver’s license or being eligible to obtain one.
- Accepting and complying with the program’s conditions may include participation duration and costs.
a. Court Order: The court will issue a mandatory alcohol interlock order as part of the offender’s sentencing. The order outlines the specific requirements and conditions of participation in the program.
b. Enrolment: Offenders must enrol in the program by contacting an approved alcohol interlock service provider. These providers are authorized by the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to install and monitor the interlock devices.
Device Installation – Interlock Program
The approved service provider will install the alcohol interlock device in the offender’s vehicle. The device is connected to the ignition system and requires a breath sample from the driver to start the vehicle.
Once installed, the alcohol interlock device requires the driver to provide a breath sample each time they start the vehicle and at random intervals during their journey. If alcohol is detected above the predetermined limit, the vehicle will not start or enter a temporary lockout state.
Monitoring and Reporting – Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program
The service provider regularly monitors the offender’s compliance with the program. They generate reports on breath tests, violations, and any attempts to tamper with the device. These reports are shared with the RMS and relevant authorities.
Program Completion – Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program
Offenders must complete the mandatory participation period, which typically ranges from six months to several years, depending on the offence and court order. Successful program completion allows participants to have the alcohol interlock device removed from their vehicle.
Costs and Obligations – Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program
Participants in the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program are responsible for the costs associated with the program, including device installation, monthly leasing fees, maintenance, and calibration. Failure to meet financial obligations or comply with program requirements can result in penalties or an extension of the participation period.
The Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program in NSW plays a vital role in preventing repeat drink driving offences and enhancing road safety. By requiring offenders to install alcohol interlock devices in their vehicles, the program acts as a safeguard against driving under the influence of alcohol. Participants can fulfil their obligations and contribute to safer roads in NSW through a structured enrolment, installation, monitoring, and compliance process. The program serves as a reminder of the importance of responsible driving and the significant role individuals can play in preventing drink driving incidents.