Victoria, Australia has officially decided to become a leading international innovator- blending the law with new technologies in order to crack down on people who drink and drive.
Soon, drastic changes in the law will take a more aggressive stance against drink-driving. The problem of drink-driving currently accounts for about 27 percent of mortalities on Victoria’s roadways. The problem is especially prevalent on holidays and during the summer.
According to law officials, penalties for drink-driving offences will become increasingly severe. Reporter Henrietta Cook notes that new laws will require anyone measured to have a blood alcohol level over .05 to outfit their vehicle with an interlock system (Cook, 2013). These devices require drivers to breathe into a breath analyzer before an electrical impulse subsequently either unlocks the car or denies entry. If the driver is found to have alcohol on his or her breath that exceeds the legal limit, the machine will record this information and will not start the automobile. Many state that the changes are needed. Western Australia Police found that even those recorded with a blood alcohol level of .05 have a doubled changed of being involved in a traffic accident, than a person who has not been drinking (Western Australia Police, 2013).
The new requirement will cause an estimated increase in the number of devices fitted annually to rise to around 17,000, which is an estimated annual increase of about 9,500 installations per year. The Australian reports that the new system will save an estimated “ten to twenty” lives per year (The Australian, 2013).
Guardian Interlock Systems, Smart Start Interlocks, and Draeger Safety are praising officials for these amendments to the law. Even still, the aforementioned companies hope for additional reforms.
Current laws are in fact geared toward repeat lawbreakers- as only those charged with more than one count of drink-driving, or those found to have a blood-alcohol level of .15 are forced to mount an interlock system into their vehicles (Cooke, 2013).
Although skeptics argue that the new system will overload the courts, Victoria police maintain that they will work to ensure that not all drink-drivers are required handle their affairs in court. According to the State Government of Victoria, police and local authorities can already revoke and individual’s license under certain criteria, without an appearance before a Magistrate (State Government of Victoria, 2013).
The cost of one interlock system is around $2,000 per annum.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.