Page 2435 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 June 2013

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removed. It is essential that the interlocks are accompanied by an effective therapeutic component and that the scheme’s goal is to achieve prolonged behaviour changes to reduce the risk of repeat drink-driving.

I therefore support the aspects of the bill that provide for an offender to undergo a pre-sentencing assessment by the Court Alcohol and Drug Assessment Service. The court can order an interlock condition in combination with other health and rehabilitation conditions. These can include treatments such as counselling, group therapy or another more intensive drug treatment program. CADAS has the benefit of enabling therapeutic responses to be tailored to individuals.

In addition to this, the scheme also has time and performance-based components. An offender with an interlock will need to have the device for at least six months and will need to demonstrate a continuous period of three months compliance with the interlock program and with any treatment order.

One of the reasons I support the introduction of interlocks as a combined strategy with therapeutic treatment is that the research shows standard penalties can be ineffective to stop recidivist drink-drivers. It is clear from various international studies that many recidivists have substance abuse problems. The advice from the research is that these offenders are unlikely to respond to brief educational interventions and that we need to pursue more intensive and comprehensive approaches. Interlock programs are one way to do this.

One of the beneficial aspects of the scheme proposed in this bill is that it will allow voluntary participation by offenders who do not meet the criteria for mandatory interlock conditions. These are lower level offenders and non-repeat offenders.

Offenders can accept an interlock in their vehicle in exchange for a reduction in their disqualification period. This offers these offenders the opportunity to get back on the road earlier and to get treatment at the same time. This has many benefits. An offender would otherwise be without a licence, but an interlock will allow them to drive again, which can help them get to work, participate in the community and receive treatment.

By allowing drivers back to the road earlier and in a safe way, it can help avoid the compounding problem of drivers using their vehicle while disqualified. Australian studies have shown that a large number of convicted drink-driver offenders whose licences are suspended still choose to drive while suspended, which endangers themselves and the community, and thwarts the purpose of the penalty.

Voluntary participation in the interlock program will help some people to control their behaviour, when otherwise they may not trust themselves when it comes to drinking and driving. I expect that some offenders will be encouraged by family and friends to participate in this scheme as part of changing their behaviour and improving their life.

My office has spoken to stakeholders in other jurisdictions that do not have a volunteer option, and they have advocated for using a model that includes voluntary

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