A court based penalty for drink drivers
The Alcohol Interlock Program is a court based penalty for drink drivers that varies between states. In some states the program enables drivers convicted of certain alcohol-related offences to continue driving after a reduced disqualification period if they obtain an interlock driver licence and participate in the program, while others have a mandatory program that begins when a drink drive offender's suspension from driving has been completed.
Which states have Interlock Programs?
South Australia, Victoria, NT and NSW have interlock programs, and Queensland is currently putting a program in place that should begin in 2011. Click here to go to links for specific states.
Who is eligible?
The court will decide who is eligible to enter the program. Each state has different methods of implementing the program. But in NSW you MUST request an interlock penalty at the time of sentencing. You CANNOT appeal to get an Interlock later.
What is an alcohol interlock?
An alcohol interlock device is an electronic breath testing device connected to the ignition of a vehicle. The vehicle will not start unless the driver passes a breath test.
Why is the interlock penalty being introduced?
The Australian Transport Council (2007) reported that, in Australia, more than 20% of drivers and riders killed have a blood alcohol level that exceeds the legal limit. Motor vehicle crashes are the most common cause of injury and approximately 23% of injured drivers test positive to alcohol. Approximately 1 in 300 drivers tested at random breath testing stations exceeded the legal alcohol limit. Casualty crash risk doubles when driving with an alcohol level just in excess of 0.05 and a high proportion of habitual drink drivers have clinical alcohol dependence problems. The interlock provides drink drivers with an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves and to legally drive when they are sober. The interlock also helps to remove drink drivers from our roads.