Ignition Interlock Systems

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Ignition Interlock Systems
In the battle to keep intoxicated drivers off of the road, many techniques have been tried. Public service announcement campaigns¸ traffic offender intervention programs, loss of driving privileges and in extreme cases full time gaol. The results of all of these techniques in reducing drink driving has been mixed. In February 2015 legislation was passed which makes it mandatory for certain offenders to have installed in their car an interlock device.

What Is An IID?
An Alcohol ignition interlock device (IID) is a type of breathalyzer that is installed in private vehicles and tied into the car’s ignition system. In order to start the vehicle, the driver must breathe into the device. If the alcohol content in the driver’s breath exceeds the accepted local level, the vehicle won’t start. Drivers must continue to breath into the car once every twenty minutes in order to continue driving. If the IID decides that that the driver has exceeded the acceptable amount of breath alcohol content, the car will sound an alarm. This alarm and all subsequent retesting is recorded and downloaded for periodic examination.

Are There Any Downsides To IID Use?
Any device that helps to encourage sober driving certainly is something to celebrate. However ignition interlock devices are not without their problems. For some drivers required to participate in an IID program, it’s the cost, which IID users are required to pay for. Installation of a ignition interlock system within a vehicle runs anywhere from $50-$250, depending on what accessories the device will have, the type of vehicle that it’s being installed in, and the amount of time that the installation takes. There is a monthly leasing fee, which generally ranges between $50-$65. And the IID must occasionally be brought into the dealer for maintenance, inspection, and data retrieval, all requiring variable fees. The standard estimated total fee usually for the year is $2200.00.

Who is required to participate in the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program?

All drivers convicted of a repeat or serious drink driving offence committed on or after 1 February 2015 will receive an interlock order that requires them to participate in the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program (unless the court determines an exemption applies).

There are limited situations where a court can make an interlock exemption order. The Court may only make an interlock exemption order if the offender proves to the Court’s satisfaction that the offender:

a. Does not have access to a vehicle in which to install an interlock device, or
b. Has a medical condition diagnosed by a registered medical practitioner that prevents the offender from providing a sufficient breath sample to operate an approved interlock device, and it is not reasonably practicable for an interlock device to be modified to enable the offender to operate the device.

A person who receives an interlock order and does not enter the interlock program will be disqualified from holding a licence (other than a learner or interlock licence) for a period of five years from the date of their conviction.

Table of offences subjected to Mandatory Interlock Program

Table 1: Interlock program for Road Transport Act 2013 offences* * This Table is a summary only, provided for easy reference. The offences and relevant periods are outlined in the Road Transport Act 2013. Mandatory interlock offence Disqualification and interlock periods under interlock order (for offences committed on or after 1 Feb 2015) Disqualification period (if exemption order is made) Note: as per existing application of Disqualification Road Transport Act 2013 s 205 period Minimum interlock period.

MANDATORY INTERLOCK OFFENCEDISQUALIFICTION PERIODMINIMUM INTERLOCK PERIODEXEMPTION ORDER MADE
 

Offence against section: • 110 (1) (a) or (b) • 110 (2) (a) (b) or (c) • 110 (3) (a) (b) or (c) where there is a previous conviction for any alcohol-related major offence within the previous five-year period

 

MIN:   1 month
MAX:  3 months

 

12 Months

 

AUTO:  12 months
MIN:       6 months

 

Offence against section 110 (4) (a) (b) or (c) (mid-range PCA) where there is a previous conviction for any alcohol-related major offence within the previous five-year period

 

 

MIN:   6 months
MAX:  9 months

 

24 Months

 

AUTO:   3 years
MIN:      12 months

 

Offence against section 110 (5) (a) (b) or (c) (high range PCA) that is a first offence by the offender for any alcohol-related major offence.

 

Min: 6 months
Max: 9 months

 

24 months

 

AUTO:   3 years
MIN:      12 months

 

Offence against section 110 (5) (a) (b) or (c) (high range PCA) where there is a previous conviction for any alcohol-related major offence within the previous five-year period.

 

Min: 9 months
Max: 12 months

 

48 months

 

Auto:   5 years
MIN:    2 years

 

Offence against section 112 (1) (a) (b) or (c) (driving under the influence of alcohol) where there is a previous conviction for any alcohol-related major offence within the previous five-year period

 

Min: 6 months
Max: 9 months

 

24 months

 

Auto:   3 years
Min:    12 months

 

Offence against clause 16 (1) (b) or 17 (1) (a1) that is a first offence by the offender for any alcohol-related major offence

 

Min: 6 months
Max: 9 months

 

24 months

 

Auto:    3 years
Min:      12 months

 

Offence against clause 16 (1) (b) or 17 (1) (a1) where there is a previous conviction for any alcohol-related major offence within the previous five-year period

 

Min: 9 months
Max: 12 months

 

48 months

 

Auto:    5 years
Min:      2 years