A WARRNAMBOOL man yesterday became the first district driver ordered to have an alcohol interlock device fitted on his car for four years.Joseph Charles Collis, of Fairy Street, was one of 10 south-west people in court yesterday going through the process of getting their driver’s licence back after drink-driving.Nine people had their applications to restore their licence approved although six of those must have one of the devices, known as an AID, fitted to any vehicle they drive.Under changes to legislation Mr Collis, 51, is understood to be the first Warrnambool district driver required to breathe into the device before he can start his car for the maximum four-year period.A combination of two prior drink-driving convictions and high readings led to Mr Collis receiving the maximum period.It costs drivers to have the devices fitted and removed from their vehicle and about $100 a month to have records kept of all attempts to start their vehicles.One driver yesterday successfully applied to have a device removed from his car after computer records showed he had not tested positive to alcohol when starting his car.Drivers are also regularly warned not to eat before blowing into an AID.It has been reported that a wide range of foodstuffs can trigger positive alcohol readings such as toothpaste, mouthwash, pizza and Cherry Ripe chocolate bars. Under legislation introduced into State Parliament and strengthened in recent years, any P-plater or anyone under 26 who records an alcohol reading of .07, or anyone who blows above .15, has to have an alcohol interlock device fitted to their car for at least six months.Prior offences lead to the devices having to be fitted for periods of up to four years. A driver has to blow a sample of breath into the device for a vehicle to start. Having to blow into the device becomes a condition of holding a driver’s licence. It’s illegal for such drivers to drive a vehicle not fitted with an AID.Readings from the devices are printed out when drivers go to court to have the AID removed.Magistrates regularly refuse to remove AIDs when drivers have recorded positive readings when trying to start their cars.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.