Reforms to legislation on alcolocks

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 12.11.2015 12.57
Press release

The Ministry of Transport and Communications is preparing new legislation on ignition interlock devices, alcolocks. The aim is to merge the various acts currently in force into one Alcolock Act and to simplify the procedures related with the use of alcolocks. Amendments will also be made to the Driving Licence Act.

The draft act has been circulated for comments that are due by 18 December 2015. The focus of the act is the use of alcolocks in monitoring the driving rights of drink-driving offenders. The most significant amendment would be that the alcolock would function as an immobilizer.

The amendments also push forward the Government's key project of deregulation.

An entirely new aspect is that the court would be charged with imposing an alcolock-monitored driving right on all drink-driving offenders. It would, however, be possible to refuse. This would ensure that the possibility for retaining one's driving right would be considered in all stages of the process when handling cases of drunken driving.

In future, it would not be necessary to transfer and analyse the alcolock's usage data every two months, and the use of alcolocks that do not store data would also be possible. This would decrease the costs of monitored driving rights, because the data transfer has to be carried out in the alcolock maintenance and installation facilities and is subject to charge.

The use of alcolocks would be monitored by the police during their normal traffic surveillance activities. The Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) would monitor the sales, installation, and maintenance facilities of alcolock manufacturers and their authorised representatives.

The use of alcolocks is not limited to drink-driving offenders; it can also be used as an immobilizer and thus act as a tool for promoting traffic safety. Alcolock use is mandatory in school and kindergarten transport services.

Alcolocks were first trailed in Finland in 2005. The alcolock-monitored driving right became an established practice in 2008. The regulations regarding alcolocks are currently spread between four different pieces of legislation and two different acts. The intention is to combine these to form one Alcolock Act.

Mr Kimmo Kiiski, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 50 539 5346