From this Friday, alcohol interlocks will be fitted under law to the vehicles of repeat and high-risk drink-driving offenders in Queensland. The news follows an announcement earlier this year by Transport Minister Rachel Nolan that the new legislation would be introduced before Christmas.
Initially tested in 2001, the new rules apply to repeat-offending drink-drivers as well as first-time offenders with a blood alcohol content higher than 0.15, and drivers who refuse to be tested.
Motorists charged with driving dangerously while intoxicated may also be required to use the system.
The interlock system, connected to the ignition, will allow the vehicle to start only if the driver records a clean breath test.
The systems will be installed to offenders' vehicles at the end of their licence disqualification, with supply and installation costs, expected to be around $2000, billed to the offender.
Motorists who refuse to have the devices fitted will face fines and licence disqualification. Around 12,000 motorists in Queensland are convicted of drink-driving each year.
Premier Anna Bligh confirmed earlier this year that the Queensland Government is considering lowering the state's legal blood alcohol limit to .02, depending on public feedback.