Alcohol interlock in use

Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program

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From 1 February 2015, stricter penalties for NSW drivers convicted of serious and repeat drink driving offences came into effect. Under the new laws these offenders will be restricted to driving vehicles with alcohol interlock devices for a period of time when they return to driving.

What is an interlock?

Interlocks are electronic breath testing devices linked to the ignition system of cars, motorcycles and heavy vehicles.

Drivers must provide a breath sample that the interlock analyses for the presence of alcohol before the vehicle will start. If a positive sample is detected, the vehicle will not start. Randomly timed breath tests must also be passed during a journey.

Who is required to participate in the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program?

All drivers convicted of a repeat or serious drink driving offence committed on or after 1 February 2015 will receive an interlock order that requires them to participate in the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program (unless the court determines an exemption applies).

A person who receives an interlock order and does not enter the interlock program will be disqualified from holding a licence (other than a learner or interlock licence) for a period of five years from the date of their conviction

Interlock program for Road Transport Act 2013 offences

This is a summary only, provided for easy reference. The offences and relevant periods are outlined in the Road Transport Act 2013.

Mandatory interlock offence Disqualification and interlock periods under interlock order (for offences committed on or after 1 Feb 2015)

Disqualification period  (if exemption order  is made) as per existing application of Road Transport Act 2013 s 205 Disqualification period Minimum interlock period.

 

Offence Section Disqualification Period Device Fitted For
110 (1) (a) or (b)110 (2) (a) (b) or (c)

110 (3) (a) (b) or (c) where there is a previous conviction for any alcohol-related major offence within the previous five-year period.

Min: 1 monthMax: 3 months

 

Interlock Period: 12 months 

Automatic:  12 months (Min: 6 months)

 

Offence Section Disqualification Period Device Fitted For
110 (4) (a) (b) or (c)mid-range PCA

where there is a previous conviction for any alcohol-related major offence within the previous five-year period.

 

Min: 6 monthsMax: 9 months

 

Interlock Period: 24 monthsAutomatic: 3 years  (Min: 12 months)

 

Offence Section Disqualification Period Device Fitted For
110 (5) (a) (b) or (c)high range PCA

that is a first offence by the offender for any alcohol-related major offence.

 

Min: 6 monthsMax: 9 months

 

Interlock Period: 24 monthsAutomatic: 3 years (Min: 12 months)

 

Offence Section Disqualification Period Device Fitted For
110 (5) (a) (b) or (c)high range PCA

where there is a previous conviction for any alcohol-related major offence within the previous five-year period.

 

Min: 9 monthsMax: 12 months

 

Interlock Period: 48 monthsAutomatic: 5 years (Min: 2 years)

 

Offence Section Disqualification Period Device Fitted For
112 (1) (a) (b) or (c)driving under the influence of alcohol

where there is a previous conviction for any alcohol-related major offence within the previous five-year period.

 

Min: 6 monthsMax: 9 months

 

Interlock Period: 24 monthsAutomatic: 3 years (Min: 12 months)

 

Offence Against Clause Disqualification Period Device Fitted For
16 (1) (b) or17 (1) (a1)

that is a first offence by the offender for any alcohol-related major offence.

 

Min: 6 monthsMax: 9 months

 

Interlock Period: 24 monthsAutomatic: 3 years (Min: 12 months)

 

Offence Against Clause Disqualification Period Device Fitted For
16 (1) (b) or17 (1) (a1)

where there is a previous conviction for any alcohol-related major offence within the previous five-year period.

 

Min: 9 monthsMax: 12 months

 

Interlock Period: 48 monthsAutomatic: 5 years (Min: 2 years)

 

 

Interlock installation and servicing

Participants in the interlock program will be required to have an interlock device installed by an accredited interlock service provider. Participants will also be required to ensure their device is regularly serviced by an accredited interlock service provider during their time on the program.

Program costs

Costs associated with installing and servicing alcohol interlocks must be paid by the participant. It is estimated that the standard costs to participants will include interlock device installation, monthly device leasing, regular device servicing (monthly or bi monthly) and device removal at the end of the mandatory interlock period. These standard costs are estimated* to be about $2,200 a year. For more information about costs please visit the interlock device providers’ websites at the links provided above.

Medical consultation

General Practitioners (GP) have a critical role to play in the alcohol interlock program. There are up to three stages at which participants in the interlock program may need to visit their GP:

  • Stage 1: All participants must visit their GP before they enter the program.
  • Stage 2: Some participants may be asked to see their GP at certain stages of the program because of ongoing attempts to drive after drinking alcohol indicating ongoing risky behaviour or alcohol dependence.
  • Stage 3: Some participants may also be required to see their GP before completing the program, to have their fitness to drive a vehicle assessed.

 

 

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