CRACK DOWN: Tough new laws will crack down on mid-range drink drivers, and force all drink drivers to undergo an education program before receiving their licence back.
CRACK DOWN: Tough new laws will crack down on mid-range drink drivers, and force all drink drivers to undergo an education program before receiving their licence back. Iain Curry

Tough new laws targeting drink drivers

DRINK drivers will face a tough new crack down on their dangerous behaviour, with new laws passing parliament yesterday.

Under the changes the alcohol interlock program, will be expanded to apply to mid-range drink drivers caught with a blood alcohol level of between 0.10 and 0.149.

The interlocker program requires sentenced drink drivers to unlock their cars by passing a breath test on a device installed in their vehicle.

READ MORE: Former publican busted excessively drink driving

Laidley police officer-in-charge senior sergeant Regan Draheim said while drink driving offences in the region were "predominately low-range”, the change was welcome.

"Any deterrent for drink driving is positive,” Sen Sgt Draheim said.

He said the interlocker program helped to prevent repeat offences.

"It makes people think twice about their actions, even after the interlock period has finished,” he said.

Other changes include requiring all drink driving offenders to complete an education intervention program before they can reapply for their driver licence.

READ MORE: Listening to music in car costs woman her license

With drink driving accounting for a quarter of Queensland's road toll, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the tougher laws would send a strong message to drivers who can't separate driving from drinking.

"Last year, 63 people died on Queensland roads because of drink drivers. The year before it was 43 people,” Mr Bailey said.

"This is unacceptable. We know mid-range drink drivers account for more than a quarter of all drink driving offenders and have a crash risk 20 times greater than someone who hasn't had a drink.

"Under the new laws, drink drivers will need to have an alcohol interlock in their vehicle until they can show a consistent record of clear breath tests over time.”

To support the performance-based interlock program, the current two years 'sit out period' that applies to those people who chose not to fit an interlock to a vehicle, will be increased to five years.

This means a person cannot drive for five years if they choose not to participate in the interlock program.

The reforms to Queensland's drink driving laws will be rolled out over the next two years.