The State Government will take a tough stance on high end and repeat drink drivers, with the introduction of alcohol interlocks this month.

A media advertising campaign has been launched by Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey and Road Safety Commissioner Kim Papalia, warning drivers that the WA Alcohol Interlock Scheme (WA AIS) comes into effect on October 24.

The seven-week television and radio education campaign reminds drivers of the inconvenience an alcohol interlock will be for alcohol offenders.

Mr Papalia said drink driving is a factor in around one in five fatal crashes in WA, and one in ten serious injury crashes, costing the community in excess of $460 million each year.

“We understand that people might find these ads confronting,” said Mr Papalia. “But death and serious injury on our roads needs to be confronted.

“Drink driving is a factor in more than 20 per cent of fatal crashes in Western Australia and that’s unacceptable.”

The primary purpose of the WA Alcohol Interlock Scheme is to reduce the road safety risk posed by drink drivers to themselves and other road users. It is expected that 4,000 to 6,000 high level and repeat offenders will be required to enter the scheme every year, with the technology designed to help drivers separate drinking from driving.

The alcohol interlock is a breath testing device installed into the ignition of passenger vehicles, motorcycles and heavy vehicles. The interlock restricted driver must provide a breath sample below a specified level before the vehicle will start, with randomly timed tests also required during the driver’s journey.

Drivers will become alcohol offenders if they are convicted of one of the following offences on or after the introduction date:

  • Any driving under the influence of alcohol offence (BAC of 0.15 or more)
  • Any dangerous driving causing death/injury offence where DUI is an element
  • Any dangerous driving causing bodily harm offence where DUI is an element
  • Two offences within five years having a BAC between 0.05% and 0.149%
  • Failure to comply with giving a breath sample to WA Police

Visit the RSC website for further information.

Main image courtesy: Road Safety Commission WA