About time

December 30th, 2012 at 7:24 am by David Farrar

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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26 Responses to “About time”

  1. tvb (4,255 comments) says:

    This is just useless. I assume he will commit an offence if he drives (probably while disqualified). But it will not stop him from driving.

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  2. duggledog (1,439 comments) says:

    Not as effective as removing the hands of the recidivist drunk driver, but I’m told interlocks have been somewhat effective in Australia. God only knows why it took so long to get them here.

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  3. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    Why was this piece of shit given the opportunity to offend for a FIFTH time?

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  4. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    More info on a particular model of the device here….Ref: http://offendermonitoringsolutions.com/IgnitionInterlock There are few obvious ways to beat an interlock while the self monitoring & logging features of the device will catch up with anyone trying to circumvent restrictions.

    ‘tvb’ should note that there is nothing to stop a person stealing or borrowing a vehicle not fitted with an Interlock. It is similar to parole or probation infringements which can only be punished after they are detected.

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  5. Akaroa (552 comments) says:

    Sigh! Oh, the naievety (Sp!) of some people!!

    In this case the authority who adopted and is implementing this intended drink-driving-preventative device and system. Don’t they realise that any determined offender will quickly discover how to defeat the restrictive intention of this gimmick. Just ask somebody down at the pub – that mecca for information of a dodgy/beat-the-system nature.

    I’m reasonable law abiding – (Correction VERY law abiding!) – but my seventy-plus years have taught me that many of my fellow men – and women – are capable of unimaginable chicanery.

    I suggest the determined drink driver will just laugh at this feeble attempt to keep him/her off the road and – if their own vehicle is ‘spiked’ in this way – merely borrow their wife’s/husband’s/mate’s/ employer’s/hire company’s vehicle and will – as they say – ‘keep on truckin”.

    A risk, I know, but the attitude is often: “So what the hell!”

    And, yes, before you ask/comment, I DO have a jaundiced view of public and private morality!

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  6. Left Right and Centre (2,883 comments) says:

    I know that’s 100% wrong that this dude was drink-driving all the time but….

    I’m sorry- I can’t help but crack up when I read that someone’s daily routine was downing six beers and then driving to the fucking *gym*!! That’s just so wrong and contradictory… I can’t help but laugh at that one. That’s just too wrong!!!!

    You don’t want ot get too cynical but you can picture two likely cuzzies talking shop about the latest thing that ‘The Man’ has gifted them as a challenge to ‘get around’. *Bro… all youse gots to do is grab yourself a fuckin safety pin… straighten da end man… jam it in that little hole next to da mouth piece… and then youse turn it to da right…then grab your rubber bands… *

    Oh well… overall it’s probably a good idea, yeah?

    Rodders: Because if he gets up to ten, he gets one free mate.

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  7. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Akaroa

    The device will not stop anyone who is absolutely determined to drive regardless of consequences any more than total disqualification does now. What it will do is provide a period of restricted driving after a conviction where the offender is electronically monitored. It will be sufficiently restrictive & enough of a nuisance to be an effective punishment in its own right.

    Take for example a electrician or plumber who habitually knocks back a few jugs after work & drives home semi fried. With an interlock fitted to his work vehicle & can continue working & not become another recipient of the dole.

    It’s only another option open to the judiciary when it comes to sentencing drunk drivers.

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  8. wreck1080 (3,815 comments) says:

    6 beers and 3 times over the legal limit?

    I call BS on that. He’d had a lot more than 6 (unless the now uncommon 750ml bottles).

    There was a controlled test on tv a while back and one guy was still under the legal limit after 6 stubbies.

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  9. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    God, I miss the edit function. “he can”, not “& can”.

    A pox on on the WordPress developers!

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  10. Bill (19 comments) says:

    Get some kid to blow in it, or use a suitable aerosol, or a pre-drunk balloon,etc.
    Hard to drive when you’re in jail though!

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  11. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    Just more worthless liberal progressive shit.

    Man this country is just so utterly fucked.

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  12. Pete George (23,345 comments) says:

    wreck – it’s possible, if this was a part of his daily routine he may have had a high residual alcohol level, and it won’t have been the only time he drank. He admits “”To be honest, I was an alcoholic.”

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  13. duggledog (1,439 comments) says:

    Almost as annoying as New Zealand’s inability to effectively deal with drink drivers is the journalist’s creative prose.

    ‘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. …’

    Jesus christ Amy stop trying so hard. What are you 18?

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  14. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    It would be far more effective to jail the irresponsible judges who allowed this POS out on the streets again after his third offence.

    And the Minister who approved this joke solution should be fired for rank incompetence.

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  15. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Isn’t jail too easy for those ‘irresponsible judges’? Surely Reddy could think of a harsher punishment.

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  16. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    I don’t get why he’s allowed to drive at all. Take his license away. Presumably that doesn’t stop him driving…..which leads to the question of why the interlock device would stop him driving.

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  17. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Why so much leniency with this piece of shit?

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  18. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    The interlock is just one tool to deal with the group of people who will drive pissed no matter what. The main thing that allows them to do so is having their behaviour tolerated by family and friends.

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  19. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    If the object of the exercise is to rehabilitate rather than punish then before anyone can hope to stop drink driving in recidivists they must understand a little of how an alcoholic’s mind works.

    The alkie is a master of self deception. Sober they can convince themselves that they’ll have “one jug & I’ll go home”. That one jug is enough to dull their commonsense & leads to another, then another. Suddenly, time has flown, the bar is closing & the manager is ready to drop kick them out the door. Of course they’ll drive home…..it’s only a few kilometres & if they leave their wheels outside the pub someone will nick them.

    The point I’m laboriously making is that a dedicated drunk doesn’t think in a rational manner so pontificating on what they should do doesn’t work. Jail them & you’d still be able to photograph their thirst when they walk past a liquor seller on their first day out of the pokey. I’m not suggesting that society should tolerate the risk they present but preventing a repetition of the crime has got to be the goal.

    I note that Mr Te Amora has been dry for two years so maybe in this case the new provisions are appropriate.

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  20. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    This system won’t work for the 23 year old who is bullet proof.

    It will work for a guy like this who 1) has been sober for a time 2) is motivated enough to pay for it himself 3)is still out there working paying tax rather than us paying for him.

    My reading of this is if he drives another vehcile without the lock or the signage he would be treated as a disqualified driver.

    Hope it works for him

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  21. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Wrist-band heat sensors for arsonists. Chastity devices for rapists. Lead-lined boots for thieves. The possibilities are endless for the nanny-state to expand its role (aka budget, staffing, policy development) protecting people from people.

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  22. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    I’m not much of a fan of the nanny state myself ‘krazykiwi’ but some of these initiatives are worth at least trialling. You’ll note that in this case that all costs are being borne by the offender & about all the authorities have to do is read the interlocker’s computer generated report.

    I’m sure that you’ll agree that capital punishment would be a little harsh in the circumstances, likewise jailing him for the term of his natural life would set taxpayers back about $5million for the next fifty years.

    What do you suggest?

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  23. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    “What do you suggest?”

    Well, dunno really, but I suggest if next time he did it he was locked in a room and forced to read the comments of Narsekissa, Chutneychute Guy and Davaselinemode for a week or two he’d probably never do it again.

    What could be worse?

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  24. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    ….”Narsekissa, Chutneychute Guy and Davaselinemode”……

    See you’re lifting your act there Baiter Boy. Leaving it right to the end of the year to introduce a few new words to your tired repertoire of regurgitated crap was a master stroke.

    +2 :)

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  25. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    Given this government’s propensity for kneejerk responses that change the law and adversely effect the entire population in order to “fix” an issues caused by the behaviour of one person or a small group of people, I’m thankful when I see anything that’s actually targeting the person responsible and not the rest of us, regardless of its probable effectiveness.

    However Pauleastbay has it right, methinks. This’ll work with someone who’s mature, motivated, and already on his way to sobriety, but not for the cocky, probably young, offender. For them I’d still like to see a spell in the Emergency ward, cleaning up the mess left by persons such as themselves while wearing a pink safety vest emblazoned with “I’m a repeat drink driver”. Then a few sessions where they’re forced to listen to the maimed victims and their families.

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  26. s.russell (1,580 comments) says:

    There are lots of people for whom this will simply not work. As many above point out, they will find ways around the problem, such as borrowing another car.

    BUT, there are also lots of people for whom this may be effective: the ones who do not mean to drive drunk but misjudge their level of inebriation (because they are drunk).

    So, not a silver bullet, but a worthwhile idea that will work some of the time. And that is a hell of a lot better than doing nothing.

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