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FAQs about the Alcohol Interlock Program

Upon conviction for certain drink and drug driving offences in New South Wales, a Court must impose a period of time in which an offender will be placed on...

Justin Wong

Upon conviction for certain drink and drug driving offences in New South Wales, a Court must impose a period of time in which an offender will be placed on the Alcohol Interlock Program. The length of time an offender will be placed on the Alcohol Interlock Program will depend on the type of drink or drug driving offence committed.

What is Interlock?

An interlock device is an electronic breath testing device linked to the ignition system of a vehicle. Drivers must provide a breath sample in order for the ignition to start. A zero alcohol limit applies to interlock drivers.

What types of offences are subject to the Alcohol Interlock Program?

Mandatory Interlock Offence Minimum Period of Disqualification Maximum Period of Disqualification Minimum Interlock Period
An offence of Novice-Range, Special-Range, or Low-Range PCA that is a second offence   1 month 3 months 12 months
An offence of Mid-Range PCA that is a first offence   3 months 6 months 12 months
An offence of Mid-Range PCA that is a second offence   6 months 9 months 24 months
An offence of High-Range PCA that is a first offence   6 months 9 months 24 months
An offence of High-Range PCA that is a second offence   9 months 12 months 48 months
An offence of use or attempt to use a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any other drug that is a first offence6 months 9 months 24 months
An offence of use or attempt to use a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any other drug that is a second offence     9 months 12 months 48 months
An offence of refusing or failing to submit to an RBT, RDT, blood sample, oral fluid sample, or urine sample that is a first offence   6 months 9 months 24 months
An offence of refusing or failing to submit to an RBT, RDT, blood sample, oral fluid sample, or urine sample that is a second offence   9 months 12 months 48 months

Do I have to have the interlock device?

In a limited set of circumstances, you can apply to the Court to be exempt from participating in the interlock program. If you choose to make an application for an interlock exemption, you will be subject to a longer period of disqualification.

If you are wanting further advice in respect of making an alcohol exemption order, please contact one of our experienced solicitors who can discuss your options with you.

How much does the interlock device cost?

The RMS has advised that the cost of installing and maintaining an interlock device are estimated to be about $2,200.00 a year.

What if I cannot afford the interlock program?

The RMS offers financial hardship assistance to those who may not be able to afford the installation and maintenance of the interlock device. If you are concerned about the financial costs involved of being subject to the interlock program, you will need to contact your nearest RMS to discuss your options.

What happens if I do not apply to the RMS for my interlock licence?

If the interlock period is not applied for or is not completed, then an offender will remain disqualified from driving for at least 5 years from the date of conviction.

What if I drive a vehicle that does not have the interlock device fitted to that vehicle?

It is an offence for someone who has an interlock licence to drive a vehicle that does not have an interlock device. Further penalties and licence disqualifications will apply should you drive a vehicle that does not have an alcohol interlock device fitted.

For more information on drink driving offences, click here.

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