As of 10 September 2021, those who are convicted of driving with a blood/breath concentration of 0.10 or more are subject to the Alcohol Ignition Interlock program. The program is performance-based with a minimum participation of 12 months. The first 8 months is considered a learning period, followed by a 4 month performance period. During the performance period participants interlock systems are monitored. If the interlock system detects alcohol, or there is a permanent lockout due to a missed scheduled service, the interlock provider will be notified, the 4 month performance period will restart, and time in the interlock program will be extended.
High-risk drink driving offences
You need to participate in the interlock program if you commit and are convicted of any of the following offences:
- driving under the influence of alcohol
- drink driving with a blood/breath alcohol concentration of:
- 0.15 or more
- 0.10 or more (offences committed on or after 10 September 2021)
- 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.
From Friday 10 September 2021 there are 2 interlock programs with different requirements:
- Performance-based interlock program
- Time-based interlock program
You will be in the performance-based interlock program if:
- you were convicted of a high-risk drink driving offence before 9 September 2021 and your licence disqualification ends on or after 9 September 2021
- you are convicted of a high-risk drink driving offence on or after 9 September 2021.
If you don’t participate you can’t drive for 5 years from the end of your disqualification (or the date you were issued a work licence).
You will be in the time-based interlock program if:
- You were convicted of a high-risk drink driving offence before 9 September 2021 and your licence disqualification ended before 9 September 2021.
If you don’t participate you can’t drive for 2 years from the end of your disqualification.
Performance-based Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program
In the performance-based program, your interlock use is monitored and data from your interlock will be sent to us. Your interlock data will need to show that all breath tests have been provided and returned ‘no alcohol’ readings, and that all scheduled interlock services have been attended—otherwise your time in the program will be extended.
How long am I in the interlock program?
You will need to be in the interlock program for a minimum of 12 months. You are eligible to participate from:
- the day after your driving disqualification ends
- the day a court grants you a restricted licence (work licence).
If you do not follow the rules your time in the performance-based program will be longer than 12 months.
If you choose not to participate in the performance-based program, you won’t be able to drive for 5 years from the end of your disqualification (or the date you were granted a work licence).
How to participate in the program
Under the performance-based program you have 2 parts to complete:
- Learning period – the first 8 months of the program
- Performance period – last 4 months of the program
To participate in the program, you must:
- hold a current licence with an interlock condition (your licence must not be expired, cancelled or suspended)
- only drive a nominated vehicle with an interlock installed
- have a ‘no alcohol’ limit when driving
- attend all interlock service appointments
- not attempt to tamper with or bypass the interlock.
During your performance period your use of the interlock will be monitored. If your interlock detects alcohol, or you have a permanent lockout due to a missed scheduled interlock service, your:
- interlock provider will tell us
- 4-month performance period will restart (every time)
- time in the interlock program will be extended.
Our team specialise in criminal defence. Our role is to sit down with you and work out the strategy that will get you the best possible result. If you have any questions about this article or any other topic of law, please call our team of experts on 1300 066 669.