Police random breath test site in Coffs Harbour.
Police random breath test site in Coffs Harbour. TREVOR VEALE/ The

Interlock drink driving laws expanded

THE use of electronic breath testing devices, connected to a vehicle's ignition, has been expanded under new laws introduced earlier this month.

The NSW Government has expanded the interlock program so it now applies to drivers convicted of all middle-range drink driving and driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol offences committed on or after Monday, December 3.

Laws introduced in 2015 already required drivers convicted of high-range, repeat and other serious drink-driving offences in NSW to have an interlock installed.

An interlock is an electronic breath testing device connected to the ignition of a vehicle. It prevents the vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected.

Randomly timed breath tests must also be passed during a journey.

The interlock also includes a camera and takes a photograph of the person providing the breath sample to reduce the risk of a driver circumventing the program.

Offenders are ordered by the court to complete a minimum licence disqualification period and a period of participation in the interlock program (at least 12 months).

The length of the licence disqualification and interlock period vary depending on the type of offence.

The court may grant an exemption from participating in the interlock program, but only in limited circumstances.