What is an Alcohol Ignition Interlock?

An Alcohol Ignition Interlock (‘Interlock’) is a device that is installed in a vehicle to prevent a person driving while under the influence of alcohol.

An Interlock requires the driver of a vehicle to record a zero blood alcohol concentration before their vehicle will start.  The vehicle will not start if the driver has consumed alcohol.  The driver is also required to perform breath tests at random intervals.

In Queensland, there is a compulsory Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program for drivers that are considered to be at high risk of offending.

Do I have to get an Alcohol Ignition Interlock?

You will be required to participate in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program if you have been convicted of any of the following offences:-

  • Drink Driving (high range);
  • Drink driving (with two or more offences within a 5 year period);
  • Failing to provide a blood/breath specimen; or
  • Dangerous driving while under the influence of alcohol.

If you have been convicted of any of the above offences, you will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence for a period of time. You will then be required to participate in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program when your licence is reinstated and your licence will be subject to the Interlock condition (shown as an “I” on your new licence).

How long do I have to have an Alcohol Ignition Interlock?

The minimum period of participation in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program is 12 months. The minimum period commences on the day that your disqualification ends. Tampering or interfering with your Interlock may increase the period of time you are required to participate in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program.

What happens if I don’t want to have an Alcohol Ignition Interlock?

There are limited circumstances in which you can apply for an exemption from participating in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program.  An exemption is only available if:-

  • you live in a remote location or on an island;
  • you have a medical condition that prevents you from being able to operate an Interlock; or
  • participating in the Program would cause you or your family severe hardship.

If no exemption applies, and you choose not to participate in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program, you will not be able to hold or obtain a drivers licence for a further two years from the date your disqualification ends.

Are there penalties for not complying with the conditions of the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program, or for tampering with an Interlock?

Yes, there are penalties for both failing to comply with the conditions of your licence and tampering with your Interlock. Penalties include fines and further periods of disqualification.  In some circumstances, penalties could include a period of imprisonment.

If you would like more information regarding the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program, or any other driving matters, please contact our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi Lawyer

Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi
Associate
Litigation & Dispute Resolution