Why are “alcolocks” fitted in cars?

e7a2e47d-8fd1-46b6-a4bd-ff8e56c40677Alcolock is a technical device that is connected to the vehicle ignition system.   Alcolock is based on technology that prevents a car from starting, if alcohol is found in the air exhaled by the driver. Alcolocks are used today for quality assurance purposes and are linked to DWI offences.

Before starting the car, the driver must blow into a mouthpiece to check the air exhaled. If this contains alcohol equal to or more than the legal limit, of 0.2 mg/dl, it will not be possible to start the engine.

The Dutch Transport Ministry has ordered installation of alcolocks in cars of convicted drunk drivers found in control of alcohol levels of over 1.3 mg/dl in blood — more than six times the legal limit of 0.2 mg/dl.

Alcolock for DWI offenders Anyone suspected of DWI may apply to participate in an alcohol ignition interlock programme instead of losing their driving licence. One of the requirements placed on those taking part is that they must blow into the device at random intervals during the course of a journey. Any trace of alcohol found in the exhaled air is registered in the alcolock memory function.

Alcolock as quality assurance

Companies use alcolocks in their endeavours to quality-assure their transports. Thanks to the alcolock, companies can guarantee that the transport drivers they employ are sober behind the wheel.

The new rules will come into effect on December 1, in time for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The way the alcolock works is that the driver must first breathe into it to unlock the engine, and will have to repeat the same process at regular intervals during the journey.

If the mini-breathalyzer, which is fitted to the dashboard, indicates a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, the engine will not turn on.

The alcolocks will be installed for two years with a possible six-year extension if the driver continues to drink and drive. In the worst cases, the driver’s license will be revoked, and the driver will have to wait five years before he or she can take a new test.

About 200 people die every year because of drink-driving, Dutch media reported.

The Netherlands, home to global beer brand Heineken, is famous for its beer industry, and ranks 14th among Europe’s top beer consumers, lagging the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxemburg and Belgium.

Annual consumption of beer in the Netherlands is more than 1 billion liters.”

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