New changes in laws soon to be introduced will see all Victorian drink drivers automatically losing their license and having an alcohol interlock breathalyser fitted into their car for at least six months.
The law will affect any driver who blows over 0.05%BAC rather than 0.07%BAC.
At the moment, only drivers with a reading greater than 0.07, repeat offenders and P and L-plate offenders are required to have the devices installed.
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan hopes that this will reduce deaths on the state’s roads.
Alcohol interlock breathalysers are hardwired to the cars’ ignition and stop cars from being started unless the driver passes a breath test.
The breathalyser also records if the driver tries to start the car while under the influence of alcohol.
The costs of fitting, maintaining, and removing the alcohol interlock device must also be covered by the offender, and can cost at least $150 a month just to maintain it.
“It is a continual reminder to those that drink drive, that they’ve been idiots, to put it mildly,” Mr Donnellan told 3AW on Friday.
The government will introduce the new legislation soon, a spokeswoman for minister Donnellan said.
Victoria Police assistant commissioner Doug Fryer strongly backed the change, saying it would make roads safer and cut the level of trauma.
Assistant Commissioner Fryer also backed lowering the legal blood alcohol limit for younger drivers, with people aged between 21 and 25 particularly over-represented in drink-driving statistics.
Victoria’s drink driving limit is also under consideration to be reduced from 0.05 to 0.02%BAC if evidence finds it would cut road trauma.
For some people, 0.02%BAC could be as little as one alcoholic drink in their system.
“If the figures indicate that it would improve behaviour we’d look at it, absolutely,” Mr Donnellan said.
“I’m sure some would think it’s inappropriate and some wouldn’t think it’s appropriate. But let’s be very clear, we make no apologies for wanting to drive the death toll down.”
9 News, “Victoria toughens drink-drive laws”, http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/05/13/09/25/vic-drink-drivers-to-lose-licence
Bendigo Advertiser, “Interlock for every future drink driver”, http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/3905502/interlock-for-every-future-drink-driver/
The Age, “Victoria’s drink driving limit could be cut to 0.02”, http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/victorias-drink-driving-limit-could-be-cut-to-002-20160513-goua21.html
The Age, “Blow over .05? Your car will get an interlock under tough new road safety laws”, http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/blow-over-05-youll-need-an-interlock-under-tough-new-road-safety-laws-20160512-gou564.html