About time

Amy Maas at Stuff reports:

A recidivist drink-driver who blew it on his fifth offence is the first person in the country to have a court-ordered breathalyser installed in his car.

Two years ago, Orean Te Amora, 28, sculled back six beers before getting behind the wheel and driving to the gym. It was part of his “daily routine”. But this time a police stop on Auckland’s North Shore had him working up a sweat when he blew three times over the legal limit. …

At sentencing, offenders are ordered to apply for a $200 Alcohol Interlock Licence. The pink licence means they can only drive a car that has the breathalyser device fitted.

The device is then installed by Auckland-based company Draeger and works in a similar way to a car immobiliser. Before the car can be started, a person must blow into the device and it has to give a zero-alcohol reading.

The licence must be held for a minimum of 12 months. However, if drug and alcohol tests come back clean after six months, and the court approves it, the device could be removed.

I think the interlocks have the potential to make a significant difference. The absolutely hard core recidivist drunk drivers will find a way around them by stealing cars and the like. Nothing short of jail will tend to stop them. But the interlocks  should make a difference for some repeat drunk drivers.

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