The Queensland Government has passed tough new drink driving laws during regional parliament in Townsville last week.
The alcohol interlock program, which requires sentenced drink drivers to unlock their cars by passing a breath test on a device installed in their vehicle, will be expanded from high-range to include mid-range drink drivers.
Other changes include requiring all drink driving offenders to complete an education intervention program before they can reapply for their driver licence.
With drink driving a quarter of Queensland's road toll, Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the tougher laws sent a strong message to drivers.
"Last year, 63 people died on Queensland roads because of drink drivers. The year before it was 43 people," Mr Bailey said. "This is unacceptable. Mid-range drink drivers account for more than a quarter of all drink driving offenders and have a crash risk 20 times greater than someone who hasn't had a drink."
Last year, 63 people died on Queensland roads because of drink drivers
The alcohol ignition interlock program will now include drink drivers with a Blood Alcohol Concentration between 0.10 and 0.149.
"Under the new laws, drink drivers will need to have an alcohol interlock in their vehicle until they can show a consistent record of clear breath tests over time," Mr Bailey said.
People who chose not to fit an interlock will be forced to wait to five years for a licence.
Mr Bailey said education was also a key focus of the new legislation.
"There is currently no legislative requirement for drink driving offenders to complete intervention or education programs as part of their return to driving," Mr Bailey said. "Research indicates that education programs delivered to both first-time and repeat drink driving offenders reduces the rate of re-offending. The new laws will compel all first-time offenders to complete an online Brief Intervention Education Program before they can drive again.
"Repeat offenders will also have to complete a more intensive, multi-session program to help them change their behaviour."