Drink drivers to face lockdown
REPEAT drink drivers could have their steering wheels locked by a breathalyser from February 1.
Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay said the introduction of alcohol interlock devices showed the government was committed to protecting the lives of motorists by cracking down on serial drink driving offenders.
"This program is about protecting innocent people who unfairly have their lives shattered by a drunken idiot," Mr Gay said.
"I will not stand for drink drivers who gamble with other people's lives due to their stupid and irresponsible actions.
"While we've seen a huge drop in alcohol-related road trauma over the last 30 years, it is a disgrace to still see over 20,000 drivers in NSW convicted of drink driving offences every year.
"The program could see up to 6000 new drink driving offenders enter the program each year."
The devices are fitted to the car ignition and drivers must pass a breath test before the engine will turn on. If the device detects alcohol, the engine won't start.
Repeat offenders will only be allowed to drive vehicles with an interlock device and with zero blood alcohol concentration.
Guardian Interlock Systems, Draeger Safety Pacific and Smart Start Interlocks have been selected to provide the devices.
Serial offenders will pay about $2200 a year to providers for the device. The program offers a tiered pricing structure including a fully subsidised option for people in severe financial hardship.
Penalties for people who attempt to abuse the system will be harsh, including those who attempt to help participants evade the system who will face a fine of $2200.