The Government reveals its plans to crack down on drink drivers by making alcohol interlocks mandatory for the country's worst offenders.
New Zealand's worst drink-drivers will soon be forced to have devices installed in their cars which stop them from driving over the limit.
The Government says making the alcohol interlock devices mandatory for serious and repeat drink-drivers will makes Kiwis safer - and a former offender says the device kept him from having "blood on my hands".
Alcohol interlock devices disable a vehicle from being driven if alcohol is detected on the breath of a driver, who must breathe into the system to start the engine.
Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss says making alcohol interlocks mandatory will tackle those "seriously abusing" the country's laws.
Offenders would have to report to a service centre once a month for the data from their interlocks to be uploaded. While it was always possible for people to abuse the system, Foss said there would be "significant penalties" - including potential jail time - for those who tampered or abused the interlocks.
AA spokesman Dylan Thomsen said the motorists' organisation was a big supporter of alcohol interlocks, which were "the best weapon there is in the fight against drink-driving". "All the other countries in the world that have an interlock, you're looking at a 35 to 90 per cent drop in drink driving reoffending - they are just the best tool there is at keeping drink-drivers off the roads."
Road safety charity Brake also welcomed the Government's announcement, with NZ director Caroline Perry saying she was pleased with the "hardline approach" to drink-driving.
Foss said a law to make the interlocks mandatory was currently being drafted, and he hoped it would be in place by the end of 2017.
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