Queensland’s drunk drivers caught cheating on alcohol ignition interlocks


These interlock machines detect if a driver is under the influence of alcohol, before a vehicle is able to be driven. SOURCE: Courier Mail

Courier Mail

More than 150 of Queensland’s worst drink drivers have been caught cheating while on the alcohol ignition interlock program, which requires them to drive with zero alcohol.

Drivers who have been convicted of driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 or more, or for repeat drink driving within five years, must use the devices after they have been disqualified.

The interlocks stop a vehicle being started if the driver has been drinking alcohol.

Since the tough licensing conditions were introduced in 2010, 157 drivers on interlock licences have been charged and convicted of 173 interlock offences.

They include 154 cases of interlock-restricted drivers caught cheating by using vehicles not fitted with the devices and one case of tampering with a device.

Twelve drivers have tried to use the override function, which triggers the lights to flash and the horn to sound until the ignition is turned off.

Since the program began, 5160 drink drivers have been ordered to install the devices for at least a year and there are currently 3294 convicted drink drivers on the program.

Queensland Transport has revealed some vehicles cannot be fitted with the devices, including some motorcycles and newer model cars with complex wiring or sensitive security systems.

An army transport driver who was convicted of high-range drink driving has taken a test case to a tribunal after he was refused an exemption from having to use the device.

Corporal Jake Bragg told Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal the device could not be practically fitted to all the Army vehicles he drives, with devices needing regular reservicing.

Amberley-based Cpl Bragg, 27, who may have to drive army vehicles interstate or overseas, says he is willing to drive with zero alcohol for up to five years if necessary.

Cpl Bragg was convicted of driving with a 0.151 blood alcohol reading in August 2012.


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