Locking Out The Drink Driver: Using alcohol interlocks to reduce drink driving in the UK

Organisation: Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety (PACTS)
Date of publication: March 2021
Date uploaded: 6 April 2021

In this report, PACTS calls on the Government to develop and implement an alcohol interlock programme as soon as possible.

Alcohol interlocks work by preventing a vehicle from starting if the driver has alcohol in their breath above a set level.

Since 2010, more than 100,000 drink driving offences have been committed by someone with a previous drink or drug driving offence on their DVLA record. As these are only the cases that have gone before the courts, it seems inevitable that the true level of drink driving (recidivism) by such people is far higher.

This report shows that alcohol interlocks are much more effective than disqualification at reducing recidivism. If alcohol interlock programmes include rehabilitation measures, such as courses similar to the UK drink drive rehabilitation course, they reduce reoffending when fitted and after removal.

The report reviews the international evidence and experience of other countries with interlock programmes in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

PACTS recommends that an interlock programme in the UK should:

• Have clearly defined standards, roles and responsibilities

• Be available to the courts to offer or mandate for drink drivers as widely as possible

• Reduce the period of licence disqualification for participants (except those who have committed ‘causing harm’ offences’

• Require participants to demonstrate sustained compliance with the programme before being able to exit it

• Include rehabilitation, with additional treatment made available for those with alcohol and mental health issues

• Have an alcohol concentration setpoint for the alcohol interlock as close to zero as is practicable.

• Include monitoring and sanctions for programme violations.

Download the report from the PACTS website: