It’s a well-established fact that drink driving or driving under the influence of alcohol is a dangerous offence that carries life-altering consequences. In an effort to reduce the frequency of drunk driving cases, many state governments can implement alcohol interlock orders to perpetrators if found guilty of repeat drunk driving offences.
Interlock breathalysers or alcohol interlocks are devices that are installed in a vehicle to measure the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) before allowing the vehicle to start. If alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start. Interlock breathalysers may also prompt random tests while the car is running to ensure that the driver does not drink while driving.
Although alcohol interlocks are effective at reducing the occurrence of drink driving offences, they also come with a cost beyond the monetary value. By understanding the full spectrum of costs associated with using an alcohol interlock device, drivers can make informed decisions about their safety and driving habits.
The monetary cost of an interlock breathalyser
The cost of installing an alcohol interlock in Australia varies depending on the type of device and the manufacturer. Each device also has an installation fee, and the unit can be removed after the mandated interlock period has been complete. In addition to the initial cost of the device and the installation cost, monthly fees will also need to be incurred depending on the supplier.
Generally, alcohol car interlocks range anywhere between $1,500 to $2,500. The Andatech car interlock ALX3000 is suitable for voluntary installation only and can help prevent drunk driving incidents.
The monetary cost of installing an alcohol interlock may be significant but may not seem all that bad when compared to the other social costs discussed in this blog post.
The inconvenience cost
Aside from the monetary costs, there are also inconvenience costs associated with using the device. Interlock devices require drivers to blow into the device every time they start their vehicles and at random intervals when driving. This can prove to be time-consuming, and some may even see it as embarrassing or socially stigmatising.
On top of this, like all breathalysers, alcohol interlocks will require regular calibration and maintenance. Calibration is required to avoid circumstances where breath test readings may be inaccurate, and the device stops the driver from starting the car. The Andatech ALX300 requires calibration once a year.
The legal cost
The legal costs associated with an alcohol interlock can vary depending on the specific circumstance and the jurisdiction in which the offence was committed as different states carry different penalties (see resources at the end of this blog post).
However, common potential legal costs of an alcohol interlock include:
- Legal fees
- Court costs
- License suspension
- Probation fees
The stigma of an interlock breathalyser
Many individuals who use an interlock device are viewed as dangerous and irresponsible drivers, even if they are using the device voluntarily. This stigma can be particularly difficult to deal with for individuals who have made a mistake and are trying to make amends. They may feel judged and ostracized by their community and even family.
More often than not, this can lead to embarrassment and shame in the long run, negatively impacting one’s mental health.
In some cases, the stigma of using an interlock device can lead to discrimination.
Overall, receiving an alcohol interlock order can have significant social costs that go beyond the financial burden of installation and maintenance. From the stigma and shame to the loss of privacy, receiving an alcohol interlock court order can have a strong negative impact on one’s life, causing one to feel a range of negative emotions.
However, it’s crucial to understand that the purpose of these devices is to prevent drunk driving cases and keep Australian roads safe. By understanding the costs of an interlock order and taking steps to avoid drunk driving consequences, we can work towards a safer and more responsible community.
Andatech offers the ALX3000 voluntary interlock breathalyser that provides fast, accurate and reliable results.
For more information on responsible drinking, check out our blog posts below.
- The best personal breathalysers as rated by customers
- How many standard drinks to reach 0.05?
- Drink driving penalties in Australia
- When can you drive after drinking alcohol?
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your business’s needs.
Written by Wafi Rashid