Charged with a drink driving offence?

You might be required to participate in the Interlock Program.

What is the Interlock Program?

The Interlock program is a program designed to prevent people who have been charged with a drink driving offence from doing the same thing again.

If you have been convicted of a high-risk drink driving offence on or after 9 September 2021 you will need to participate in the ‘performance based interlock program’.

What is a High Risk driving offence?

‘High risk driving offence’ is defined as a conviction for any of the following offences:-

  • drive, or attempt to put in motion or be in charge of a vehicle with a blood/breath alcohol concentration of:
    • 0.15 or more (High Range)
    • 0.10 or more (Mid Range)
  • failing to provide a blood/breath specimen for analysis
  • dangerous driving while affected by alcohol
  • 2 or more drink driving offences within the 5 years

What does the performance based Interlock program require?

Participation in the program requires you to install an interlock device into your vehicle. The device is connected to your vehicle’s ignition. It will not allow you to start your vehicle unless no alcohol is detected. Random breath sample may also be requested during a journey.

A camera is also installed alongside the interlock which will take a photo each time a breath sample is taken. Your vehicle can still be driven by others however they will be required to also provide breath samples to start the vehicle.

You are required to service your interlock device regularly. It is required to be serviced 1 month after it is installed and then every 3 months throughout the duration of the program.

How long does the program last?

The performance based program typically lasts 12 months. Under the performance-based program you have 2 parts to complete: –

  • The Learning period (first 8 months of the program)and,
  • The Performance period (last 4 months of the program).

During the performance period your interlock is monitored closely. If your interlock detects any alcohol or you missed a scheduled interlock service, your performance period (4 months) will restart.

Do I have to participate in the performance based program?

You are not required to participate in the performance base program. HOWEVER if you choose to not participate in this program, you won’t be able to drive for 5 years after your court disqualification period ends.

I was granted a work licence. Do I need to participate?

To drive on the day the Court grants your work licence application, you will be required to arrange and install an interlock on the same day a court grants you a restricted licence (work licence).  Once granted, you can only drive for the purposes the restricted licence specifies.

Costs of the program?

There are significant costs for the interlock program. Initially you will be required to pay an ‘approved interlock provider’ and have the interlock installed. The total estimated cost for an interlock device is $2,000 over a 12 month period. This includes the installation of the interlock device installed, servicing and to have it removed at the end of the period.

What if I can’t afford to participate in the program?

You may qualify for financial support if you cannot afford the costs associated with participating in the interlock program. A 35% discounts on the interlock costs applies if you hold a valid healthcare or pensioner concession card.  You can also apply for further financial assistance if you have an annual income under the allowable limits. Importantly, the approval process is faster if you apply for financial assistance whilst you are applying for a work licence.

What now?

For clarification of your legal rights, speak to our experienced solicitors so that we can explore all of your options. You can click the link to contact our office via online enquiry or alternatively call our 24 hour line on (07) 55270020 to discuss your options further.