An alcohol interlock ignition prevents a person from driving by failing to start the car if the alcohol level of the person blowing into the breathalyser is above 0.00 BAC.
Since 2010, alcohol ignition interlocks have been in use in Queensland. These are breath-testing devices that are linked up to a vehicle’s ignition system so that the driver cannot start the vehicle if alcohol is detected on his or her breath.
Why were interlocks introduced?
Alcohol ignition interlocks are considered to be a stronger approach to controlling drivers who have already been convicted of an earlier drink driving offence and are thought in danger of intending to drink and then drive after being allowed to resume driving legally.
Who could have an interlock fitted in their vehicle?
There are certain drink driving offences committed after August 6th 2010 which could result in the installation of the device. These include:
- dangerous driving while affected by alcohol
- driving under the influence of liquor
- 2 or more drink driving offences of any kind within a 5 year period
- blowing a breath/blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or more
- failure to provide a breath/blood specimen for analysis.
If you have been disqualified from driving you may be required to have an interlock fitted before you may resume driving.
How to get an interlock fitted
It will be necessary first to go to a customer service centre to put in an application for a new licence. The new licence will have the symbol ‘I’ (meaning interlock) on it. Next you will have to take your vehicle to an interlock installer after you have obtained the interlock device.
You will have to complete form F4841 which is the Apply/Remove a Vehicle Nomination form and hand it to the provider who you have found to supply the interlock device before the interlock agreement is due to start. It is the responsibility of the interlock provider to let the department know about the vehicle you have nominated for an interlock installation for the interlock program.
The interlock provider will provide you with the name of a recognised interlock installer. If there isn’t one available in your area you may qualify for an exemption.
The cost of the interlock program
All the costs for the interlock program are your responsibility and amount to approximately $2,000.
The costs could include:
- a new licence fee with an ‘I’ on it, which is more than the normal licence fee;
- the cost of installing, renting, servicing and the removal of the interlock.
- The length of the interlock program
The interlock program lasts for a maximum period of 2 years commencing from the day following the ending of your period of disqualification.
You can leave the program sooner if you meet the Prescribed Period’s qualifications. The Prescribed Period is a minimum of 12 months as long as you meet certain conditions as follows:
you have in your presence a valid Queensland driver licence which has an ‘I’ attached;
- an approved interlock has been fitted in your vehicle;
- the vehicle details are in the hands of the interlock provider obtained through the Apply/Remove a Vehicle Nomination form (F4841).