Mike Stevens | Dec 7, 2010

Queensland motorists flouting the state's drink-driving laws will soon face having their licences automatically suspended if caught driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.1 or higher.

The new law, which replaces the current 0.15 limit, will go into operation around the middle of next year.

As with other Australian states, it is illegal to drive in Queensland with a blood alcohol concentration higher than 0.05 percent.

QLD Premier Anna Bligh also said that police will now be able to conduct breath tests with only one officer present, because new advanced testing systems do not require the assistance or supervision of a second officer.

Convicted repeat drink-driving offends will also be forced from next year to have breath-testing systems installed in their vehicles.

Known as interlocks, the $2000 systems will be installed at the driver's expense and will not allow the vehicle to start unless a clear test is registered.

QLD Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said that around 9000 drivers per year are expected to have the systems installed.

"Alcohol ignition interlocks are being introduced to stop high-risk and repeat drink drivers before they have a chance to injure, maim or kill themselves or other road users," Ms Nolan said.

Queensland's police force has also launched a fleet of new marked patrol cars, emblazoned with graphics that represent "the fatal four" - speeding, drink-driving, fatigue and not wearing a seat belt.

“The design is meant to be confronting, and put the fatal consequences of reckless behaviour into perspective, as the number plates suggest,” Police Minister Neil Roberts said.

The high visibility vehicles will join random drug testing, random breath testing, speed cameras, covert camera, static and mobile speed detection and an increased presence from marked and unmarked vehicles across the state.

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