New Zealand Law Society - Corrections-funded alcohol interlock pilot delayed

Corrections-funded alcohol interlock pilot delayed

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A pilot project where the Department of Corrections funds a further 240 alcohol interlock devices for eligible offenders on community sentences has been delayed.

The department had earlier advised that the project would start on 3 July 2017. However, it says this was not able to happen due to unforseen delays.

In anticipation of the 3 July release date, the department had asked lawyers to inform their clients of the pilot and to recommend an alcohol interlock licence to judges at sentencing.

The department now believes that the pilot will be able to commence on 24 July 2017.

When it commences, the pilot will be available to offenders who are:

  • Sentenced to a community-based rehabilitative sentence of over 12 months including intensive supervision and home detention (nb, the sentence length must cover the alcohol interlock licence period, including the initial three-month disqualification).
  • Convicted of an alcohol driving offence and have previously been convicted of such an offence within five years, or have a high reading of >800mg breath alcohol or 160mgs blood alcohol.
  • Motivated to adhere to the alcohol interlock requirements.

On commencement the department will fully fund 240 alcohol interlocks. This will cover the cost of the alcohol interlock licence ($200), the lease of the device and its installation, monthly downloading of data, removal of the device at the end of the pilot or if the offender chooses to opt out, and the fee for a zero alcohol drivers' licence ($66).

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