From 10 September, New Zealand courts will be able to require serious or repeat drink-drivers to have alcohol interlock devices fitted to their vehicles.
“Interlocks are the latest in a raft of new measures being introduced to reduce deaths and injuries caused by drink-drivers as part of the Government’s Safer Journeys strategy,” said Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges. “These new court-imposed sanctions were made possible under legislative changes introduced by the Government last year.”
Repeat drink drive offenders and first time offenders convicted of driving with blood alcohol levels double the current adult limit could be given an alcohol interlock disqualification at the discretion of the courts.
Following a mandatory three month disqualification (during which no driving is allowed), offenders given an interlock disqualification will be able to apply for an alcohol interlock licence, which will restrict them to driving a vehicle with an interlock device fitted. Offenders will bear the cost of fitting and monitoring the interlocks. In addition, from 10 September the ‘zero alcohol’ licence sanction will also be available, which will require drivers to maintain a zero alcohol limit for a fixed period of three years.
The zero alcohol licences will be issued to drivers given a ‘zero alcohol’ disqualification by the courts, as well as to those who have served an alcohol interlock disqualification and have been approved to exit the interlock programme.