What is the Interlock Program?

What is the interlock program?


The interlock program was introduced in 2003 to allow those convicted of drink driving offences to continue driving, following a short period of disqualification.

An RMS (RTA) Interlock Device is an electronic breath testing device that is wired to the ignition of a car. This prevents a driver who has been drinking from driving the car by stopping the engine from ignition. The interlock device will also require the driver to submit to a breath test at regular intervals, therefore reducing the risk of a passenger or other person blowing into the machine.


What offences will apply?

  • Low-range drink driving (for a second or subsequent offence within 5 years)
  • Mid-range drink driving
  • High-range drink driving
  • Refuse or fail to submit to breath analysis.


What are the benefits of the Interlock Program?

The benefits of participating in the Alcohol Interlock Program are that you:

  • Continue to drive your car legally.
  • Have a greater chance of keeping your job if you need to drive a car to work or drive a car as part of your job.
  • Have an opportunity to discuss your alcohol use with a medical practitioner.


What are the reduced disqualification periods, and how long will you have to participate in the Program?

The “mandatory disqualification period” is the period that you will be required to be served before you can start the Interlock Program. For example, for a high range drink driving offence (first offence), upon conviction, the minimum disqualification period is 12 months. However, if you are successful in getting an Interlock Order from the court, the mandatory disqualification period would be 6 months.

Following the mandatory period of disqualification, you will be required to participate in the program for a minimum period. This is called the “Interlock Paricipation Period”. This period, for a high range drink driving offence, would be 2 years.


Will I be eligible for the Interlock Program?

The sentencing court will determine if an Interlock Order will be made. Generally, you will have to have very compelling personal circumstances, in terms of your need for a licence, to be eligible for the Interlock Program. The court will take into consideration many factors in determining whether it will make an Interlock Order, including:

  • Your driving record,
  • Your need for a licence, and personal circumstances,
  • The seriousness of the offence,
  • Your blood-alcohol reading.

What happens if I am not eligible for the Interlock Program?

You will be sentenced for the offence according to the general sentencing laws applicable to that offence.

For more information on drink driving offences, the penalties involved for drink driving offence and case studies where we have represented others, click here.

Call LY Lawyers, Drink Driving Law Experts, on 1300 595 299 for a free consultation.