What is an offender interlock program?
If you have committed a serious drink driving offence, you will likely lose your licence and be disqualified from driving for a specified period of time. After this time, you will be required by the courts to participate in an offender interlock program as mandated by your state government, to demonstrate that you can drive responsibly without the influence of alcohol. This involves applying for a new licence with an interlock condition, allowing you to drive only with an ignition interlock device fitted to your vehicle.
Your driving behaviour will be monitored for the duration of the program. You must demonstrate the ability to separate drinking and driving over a specified period of time in order to complete the program. However, significant or repeated violations, such as attempting to drive drunk or tampering with the interlock, may lead to extended time on the program and additional penalties.
Are interlock programs just for offenders?
No. Guardian administers interlock programs for private employers and individuals. Find out more in our Private Interlocks section.
What is an alcohol ignition interlock device?
An alcohol interlock is a breath-testing device that is connected to a vehicle's ignition and stops a driver starting a vehicle if they have been drinking alcohol.
Why do I need to have an alcohol interlock ignition device fitted?
The courts or road traffic authority may require you to have an interlock fitted if you have committed a serious or repeated drink driving offence and are required to join an alcohol ignition interlock program.
What counts as a serious drink driving offence?
The exact criteria vary from state to state, but offences include recording an especially high BAC, multiple drink driving offences within a certain period of time and refusing to provide a breath sample to a police officer. Please see your state's interlock program information page for more information.
How long do I have to stay on the program?
The minimum and maximum period varies depending on the offence and the state. You will only be able to complete the program when you have demonstrated sufficient and prolonged responsible driving behaviour. If you violate the program you risk extending your period of participation. Please see your state's interlock program information page for more information.
I don't want to take part in the interlock program – what do I do?
In some cases this is a mandatory requirement to regain a full licence after a period of disqualification from driving. If you choose not to participate, you may face an extended period of disqualification or other penalties, depending on your home state. Please see your state's interlock program information page for more information.
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Which types of vehicle can have interlocks installed?
Interlocks can be fitted to most types of vehicle, including cars, motorbikes and trucks.
How do I get an interlock fitted to my vehicle?
You must pay to have the interlock device fitted at one of our approved service centres.
Where is my nearest service centre?
You can find your nearest store on the Service Centres page.
How often do I need to get the interlock serviced?
This varies depending on your home state or territory. You will typically have a scheduled service every 30-60 days, along with unscheduled services for any program violations. Please see your state's interlock program information page for more information.
Can I have the interlock serviced at any auto electrical centre or mechanic?
No. You must use only service centres approved by Guardian; use of an unauthorised service centre is a breach of contract and may result in penalties. See the Service Centres page for a full list of Guardian service centres.
How do I get the interlock removed from my vehicle?
At the end of your program, you must pay a small fee to have the device removed from your vehicle by one of Guardian's approved service centres.
What if more than one person uses my vehicle?
If you share your vehicle with other people, they must also submit a breath sample when starting the vehicle.
I drive more than one vehicle – do I need to have an ignition interlock fitted to each?
Yes. Your licence will have an interlock condition, meaning that you cannot legally drive any vehicle without an ignition interlock device fitted. If you own multiple vehicles and wish to drive them, you must have an interlock fitted to each vehicle.
I drive a company vehicle – do I need to have an ignition interlock fitted to this vehicle?
Yes. If you only drive a company vehicle, you will need to seek your employer's permission to have an interlock fitted to the vehicle.
I have an interlock and I am moving to a different state – what do I do?
Please contact Guardian directly for advice on this matter.
What happens if I fail a breath test when using the interlock?
If the interlock detects alcohol in your breath sample, it will register a 'fail' and the ignition will be locked (a 'lockout'). You will be able to do another breath test after a short period of time, but please note that after a certain number of lockouts, the vehicle will be immobilised. The information will also be recorded on the device and could lead to an extension of your program participation period.
I'm locked out of my vehicle – what do I do?
If you have failed too many breath tests within a certain period and your vehicle is immobilised, you will need to arrange a visit from a service centre at your own expense or pay for a one day code to enable you to return your vehicle to the service centre.
Is it possible to bypass or tamper with the interlock?
Interlocks are fitted with a number of anti-tamper systems. There is a specific technique used to provide a sample, a certain volume of breath is needed, and further samples will be requested at random points in the journey. If tampering is suspected, the vehicle will be disabled, you will be liable for a service fee and you may incur additional penalties, such as an extension to your time on the program.
I haven't been drinking but the ignition interlock has detected alcohol in my breath sample – why is this?
There could be a number of reasons for this – certain foods or mouthwash containing alcohol, for example. We recommend that you do not eat or drink for 5-15 minutes prior to taking a test and that you rinse your mouth with water first. If you think this may be the reason for your test failure, wait a few minutes and try again. Your user manual provides you with advice on this.