New laws came into effect on Monday 3 December 2018 in relation to drink driving offences. As a result of these changes it means that first time offenders who record a blood alcohol reading in the mid-range (that is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, but less than 0.15) as well as receiving a mandatory licence disqualification of at least a minimum of 3 months will also be obligated to participate in a mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program for a period of up to 12 months. This means having a machine fitted to any motor vehicle the offender intends to drive while ever they remain obligated to participate in the program.

The reforms also extend to first time high range drink driving where the licence disqualification periods are longer and the time that the offender must participate in the Interlock Program are also longer.

If the offender fails to install an Interlock device in their motor vehicle and participate in the program their licence will be disqualified for a period of 5 years.

The costs of having the interlock devices fitted to the vehicle can be costly. In addition, the devices require calibration at least every three months and there are additional cost each time this service needs to be performed.

The government is becoming frustrated with the endless stream of drink drivers that are flowing through New South Wales Courts. The evidence also suggest that the likelihood of being involved in a motor vehicle accident once you reach the mid-range of blood alcohol concentration is more then four times of that of a person who has a zero blood alcohol level. Drivers can no longer adopt a theory that if they have not been caught drink driving before that they will escape penalty when they come before a Court. How Magistrates implement the changes to the drink driving laws will become more clear over time. However, this Christmas the team at Property Law and More suggest that you rethink that next drink.