Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program

In an effort to deter drink driving, since February 2015 any driver convicted of a serious or repeat drink driving offence must participate in the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program (unless an exemption applies such as medical reasons).

An Interlock device is an electronic breath test installed in your car, motorcycle or heavy vehicle to monitor alcohol levels. It is linked to the ignition of the vehicle and will only start if no alcohol is detected on your breath. If installed, random breath tests will also be required throughout the duration of your journey.

When the Court orders a driver participate in the program, there will be an initial period of total disqualification followed by a minimum 12 month interlock period. It is the responsibility of the offender to install and service the interlock device. The information is recorded from every breath test and collected at every service. The data is monitored by the RMS.

If a person fails to enter into the program, they will be disqualified from holding any licence for at least 5 years from the date of conviction.  If a person fails to satisfactorily adhere to the conditions of the interlock, a ‘Fitness to Drive’ medical assessment may need to be completed or the interlock program period extended.

For a first offence within 5 years, the penalties are below:

Offence Max.
Fine
Max.
Gaol
Minimum
Disqualification Period
Automatic
Disqualification Period
Minimum Interlock Period
Novice Range PCA 0.01-0.019 $1,100 N/A 3 months 6 months N/A
Special Range PCA 0.02-0.049 $1,100 N/A 3 months 6 months N/A
Low Range PCA 0.05-0.079 $1,100 N/A 3 months 6 months N/A
Mid Range PCA 0.08 -0.149 $2,200 9 months 6 months 12 months N/A
High Range PCA 0.150 and over $3,300 18 months 6 months 12 months 24 months
Refuse/fail to Provide Breath Analysis (station) $3,300 18 months 6 months 9 months 24 months

 

For a second alcohol-related major offence within 5 years, the penalties are below:

Offence Max.
Fine
Max.
Gaol
Minimum Disqualification Period Automatic Disqualification Period Minimum Interlock Period
Novice Range PCA 0.01-0.019 $2,200 N/A 1 month 3 months 12 months
Special Range PCA 0.02-0.049 $2,200 N/A 1 month 3 months 12 months
Low Range PCA 0.05-0.079 $2,200 N/A 1 month 3 months 12 months
Mid Range PCA 0.08 -0.149 $3,300 12 months 6 months 9 months 24 months
High Range PCA 0.150 and over $5,500 24 months 9 months 12 months 48 months
Refuse/fail to Provide Breath Analysis (station) $5,500 24 months 9 months 12 months 48 months

In essence, the Court will consider that part of the disqualification period will be served through the completion of the interlock period.

However, if you successfully prove that an interlock exemption order is applicable, you will be subject to the law as it was before the mandatory interlock program was implemented and will therefore be exposed to lengthier disqualification periods.

Please contact one of our experienced traffic solicitors at Duffy Elliott Lawyers to discuss your matter further and ensure you are properly represented.