Breathal­yser in­ter­locks in ac­tion

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

More than 200 driv­ers na­tion­wide have had breathal­yser de­vices con­nected to their cars to stop them from drink­ing and driv­ing.

The sen­tenc­ing op­tion be­came avail­able last year in Septem­ber, and al­lowed re­peat drink-drive of­fend­ers and first time of­fend­ers con­victed of driv­ing with blood al­co­hol lev­els dou­ble the cur­rent adult limit to be given an al­co­hol in­ter­lock dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

An al­co­hol in­ter­lock is a de­vice sim­i­lar to a breathal­yser that is con­nected to a ve­hi­cle’s start­ing sys­tem.

Be­fore the ve­hi­cle can be star- ted, the driver must pro­vide a breath sam­ple.

In­ter­locks in New Zealand are ef­fec­tively set for a zero limit, the New Zealand Trans­port Agency said.

In the first year, 242 al­co­hol in­ter­lock sen­tences have been handed down by the courts to 220 of­fend­ers, with 77 in­ter­lock li­cences is­sued by NZTA.

Of the 77 of­fend­ers who have re­ceived in­ter­lock li­cences, 68 have had in­ter­locks fit­ted to their ve­hi­cles.

At sen­tenc­ing, of­fend­ers are or­dered to ap­ply for a $ 200 Al­co­hol In­ter­lock Li­cence.

The pink li­cence means they can only drive a car that has the breathal­yser de­vice fit­ted.

The de­vice is then in­stalled by Auck­land com­pany Draeger. and works in a sim­i­lar way to a car im­mo­biliser.

The rea­son there were more sanc­tions than of­fend­ers is that in some cases a judge would im­pose more than one sanc­tion, for more than one of­fence, on a sin­gle of­fender.

Trans­port Agency Road Safety Di­rec­tor Ernst Zoll­ner said, ‘‘There are now more than 200 se­ri­ous and re­peat drink-drive of­fend­ers who will only be able drive legally if they have an in­ter­lock fit­ted.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

– Fair­fax NZ Cham­pion: Mata­mata dog Von­peta Nuf­fin (Lester) was over­all win­ner at last year’s Waikato Ger­man Shep­herd Dog Club Cham­pi­onship.

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