Any initiative to curb the carnage on our roads has to be a good thing and the interlock system appears to be a practical response to recidivist drink drivers.
According to the AA, about one in four drink drivers will reoffend, and about 20 per cent of 32,603 drink driving charges laid between 2010-11 were for third or more offences.
From next week repeat offenders, or those convicted for the first time with twice the permitted alcohol level, will be able to opt for an interlock disqualification after a mandatory three-month disqualification.
An interlock requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece at the start and during a journey, and will not allow the vehicle to start if the driver has any alcohol in their system.
The devices are used in numerous countries, including Australia, the US and throughout Europe, and have reduced the number of drunk drivers on their roads.
The device will be checked monthly and it will cost the offender about $1800 over the 12-month period.
Any attempt to tamper with the interlock, or to start the engine by bypassing it, will be recorded in the device as a violation, as will any readings of excess alcohol.
The system covers most bases but, as some critics have pointed out, it is not fool-proof.
Offenders can still get access to other vehicles or, potentially, get a sober associate to blow into the device for them.
Some motoring watchdogs, while supporting the scheme, have also pointed out that it does not address the underlying addiction issues of repeat drink drivers. One has gone as far as saying it won't work on the highest risk offenders because the cost is prohibitive.
The AA believes interlocks should be mandatory for repeat drink drivers or those caught with extremely high alcohol levels.
They have a point but, given the complexities of issue, a pragmatic approach is needed.
Interlocks are a good step forward in reducing carnage on our roads. In time, these devices may well become mandatory for recidivist offenders but, for now, they are a start.