More Qld drink-drivers to get interlocks

·2-min read

Queensland drivers who record a blood alcohol reading of 0.1 and above will have to use a car interlocking breath test system if they want to drive in the next five years.

The new rules mean the interlocking program will be expanded to include those caught in the "mid-range", as well as an extension of the sit-out period for drivers who don't participate from two-to-five years.

Mid-range drink-drivers account for more than a quarter of all offenders and have a crash risk 20 times higher compared to a zero blood alcohol level, Transport Minister Mark Bailey said.

"Last year, 62 people died on Queensland roads because of drink-drivers. The year before it was 46 people," Mr Bailey said.

"Sadly, these numbers could be even worse this year, with the number of lives lost far too high."

Drivers will have to show "a clean record of breath for at least 12 months", Mr Baily told state parliament on Thursday.

Additionally, all drivers caught over the limit will have to complete an education program before they're allowed back on the road.

"Research shows education programs reduce the rate of re-offending," he said.

First time drink-drivers must complete an online education course while repeat offenders will be subjected to a "more intensive, multi session" program.

The tougher penalties come as Queensland prepares to implement fines for those caught on camera using mobile phones or not wearing seatbelts.

"In the first month of this rollout, almost 1400 drivers were snapped not wearing a seatbelt," Mr Bailey said

A three month grace period, during which drivers caught doing the wrong thing are warned, began in late July.

From November, those caught using their phones will be fined more than $1000.

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