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An alcolock, or more formally in Euro-bureaucrat-speak a “breath alcohol ignition interlock device” (BAIID), is fitted to a car’s ignition to stop a driver from starting it if he’s over the drink-driving limit. The device is seen as a way to stop people who have been convicted of driving under the influence from offending again. Trials have been taking place in recent years in the US, Australia, Canada, and Sweden, though not always under this name. The European Union has been conducting studies to see if it ought to be adopted throughout the EU and as a follow-up to this investigation a trial is to take place in two areas of the UK shortly. Supporters of the scheme argue that it helps to prevent repeat offences.

In Sweden 1,500 Volvo trucks have been fitted with the Alcolock.

The Times, 4 May 2003

The “alcolock” requires the driver to take a breath-test before the ignition can be turned on and activates a lock if the result is above a certain level.

The Observer, 29 Feb. 2004

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 27 Mar. 2004

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Last modified: 27 March 2004.