Thanks to legislation passed by the Victorian State Parliament, disqualified drink drivers will have their cars fitted with interlock devices that can identify the driver prevent the car from starting if the driver has been drinking.
Part of a program to battle drink driving and related road incidents in the state, from October 2014 the interlock devices will be compulsory for first-time offenders who have recorded a blood alcohol content reading of 0.07 or more. The program will also affect those who have blown under 0.07 but have had their licences cancelled, probationary and learner drivers, and repeat offenders.
According to Victorian Minister for Roads Terry Mulder, the devices incorporate a number of technologies to protect drivers and other road users.
"Interlocks stop vehicles from being started if the driver has been drinking," said Mulder. "Essentially, this technology helps people separate their drinking from their driving.
"As an added security measure, the Coalition Government is requiring camera-activated ignition interlock devices to be used by offenders, to help identify who has provided the breath sample.
"Technological advances mean that in the long-term alcohol interlocks are likely to be a standard feature of all new vehicles in Australia but, in the meantime, Victoria is leading the way in taking action to reduce the menace caused by drink driving offenders.
"Alcohol interlocks are proven to reduce repeat drink driving by up to 64 per cent while they are fitted. This program has already prevented people affected by alcohol from driving their vehicles more than 250,000 times."
The number of drivers to have the devices fitted is expected to double under the changed legislation, affecting at least 10,000 drink drivers per year.