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Being part of the Alcohol Interlock Program can be difficult for any disqualified driver. At Guardian Interlock, we understand the frustrations and complexities involved and are here to make your time with an alcohol interlock system as straightforward and painless as possible.

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Easy to Use & ReliableWhat is an Alcohol Interlock System?

An alcohol interlock is a breath-testing device connected to a vehicle’s ignition and stops a driver from starting a vehicle if they have been drinking alcohol. Alcohol Interlocks can be fitted to most types of vehicles, including cars, motorbikes, and trucks.

FAQFrequently Asked Questions

What are State Alcohol Interlock Programs?

If you have committed a drink driving offence, you may lose your licence and be disqualified from driving for a specified period of time. After this time, you will be required by the Road Traffic Authority or courts to participate in an offender alcohol interlock program as mandated by your state authority, to demonstrate that you can drive responsibly without the influence of alcohol.

As part of your offender alcohol interlock program, you will be given a new licence with an interlock condition, meaning you cannot legally drive any vehicle without an ignition interlock device fitted. If you own multiple vehicles or drive a work vehicle, you must have an alcohol interlock fitted to each vehicle you drive.

Offender driving behaviour will be monitored for the duration of the program. To complete the program, offenders must demonstrate the ability to separate drinking and driving over a specified period of time. However, significant or repeated violations, such as attempting to drink and drive, missed or failed retests or tampering with the alcohol interlock, may lead to extended time on the program and additional penalties.

Each State or Territory has different rules for their Interlock Program, please check your state’s alcohol interlock program information page for specific guidance.

What are Private Alcohol Interlock Systems?

Guardian’s alcohol interlock devices are not just for drink driving offenders, many private customers choose to install our interlocks on their vehicles, ranging from responsible business owners to safety-conscious individuals and parents.

Interlocks for private and commercial use are available for purchase or hire and are programmable to meet the owner’s requirements. If you use your vehicle for business and your employer needs to be certain that its employees are 100% safe on the road each day, they may require an interlock system to be installed in their vehicles.

Alternatively, if you have made a mistake with alcohol but require access to a work vehicle for your occupation, your employer would have to have an interlock system installed in it for you to drive. We have many customers Australian wide that drive vehicles they do not own with interlocks fitted for work.

If you are looking to install a private interlock or more information on work vehicles for an offender program, contact our friendly and knowledgeable team.

I Don't Want to Take Part in The Interlock Program – What Do I Do?

In most cases, the alcohol interlock program is a mandatory requirement for individuals 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.

How Much Does the Alcohol Interlock Device Cost?

The cost of an alcohol interlock program is determined by the state, concession status, and vehicle of the participant. Please see your state’s interlock program information page for more information. A list of fees can also be found on this website.

Clients claiming concession are required to submit an e-Services Form. Click here to find an online form to complete and submit.

How Often Do I Need to Get the Alcohol Interlock Serviced?

Alcohol interlock servicing varies depending on your state or territory of conviction. After the initial 30 day service you will typically have a scheduled service every 30-60 days. Note that if you have any violations (as determined by the State or Territory Program) you will need an unscheduled interlock service which may mean that you return between the scheduled services. Please see your state’s interlock program information page for more information.

Your alcohol interlock can only be serviced by a Guardian approved centre. The use of an unauthorised interlock service centre is a breach of contract and may result in penalties. See the Service Centres page for a full list of Guardian interlock service centres.

At the end of your alcohol interlock program, you must pay a fee for interlock removal by one of Guardian’s approved service centres. If removing prior to the completion of your contract early termination fees may apply – these are refunded on return if reinstall is completed within 6 months.

What Happens When I Fail the Breath Test When Using the Alcohol 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 the vehicle will be immobilised after a certain number of lockouts. The information is sent to the Road Traffic Authority in your State and could extend your program participation period.

Suppose you have failed too many breath tests within a certain period, and your vehicle is immobilised. In that case, you will need to arrange a visit to a service centre at your own expense or pay for a code to enable you to return your vehicle to the service centre. You will need the call code from the head unit to complete your purchase. This can be obtained by pressing #5 on your head unit while the ignition is on. “UNLOCK xxhr” will display and countdown once the code is entered. Ensure you return to the centre prior to 0 hours or you will need to purchase another code.

Is It Possible to Bypass or Tamper with The Alcohol Interlock?

Alcohol 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. Tampering with the device will cause recalls and you may incur additional penalties, as tampering is reported to your state authorities.

I Haven't Been Drinking, but the Ignition Interlock Has Detected Alcohol in My Breath Sample – Why Is This?

Suppose you have not been drinking, but the ignition interlock has detected alcohol in my breath sample. In that case, 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.

If you continue to have problems with your interlock device, don’t hesitate to contact Guardian or your nearest service centre for advice.

What Happens If I Miss a Retest When Using the Interlock?

Always take a retest when requested, even if you are about to turn the vehicle off. Missed retests are considered a violation and can cause the alarms to sound if not taken.

My head unit has a countdown, what do I do?

If your head unit displays a countdown you will need to return to a service centres before the countdown reach 0 hours. If you do not return your interlock will go into lockout and you will need to purchase a code.

“SvcLckxxday/hr” – You have missed you service date and are in a period of grace before the interlock locks out “VioLckxxday/hr” – You’ve caused a program violation and must return to the service centre before 0 hours. An unscheduled service fee will be payable on return.

“RECALL:* xxH” – An issue has been detected with your interlock. Return to the service centre to have it checked before 0 hours.

I Can’t Afford My Interlock Anymore, What Can I Do?

The best plan is to have the interlock removed until you are able to afford it. Removal and reinstall charges will apply but the lease costs continue and can end up costing you more than the removal/install. In most states an early termination fee also applies but is refunded if you return within 6 months.

It is a good idea to contact Guardian for advice if you are having difficulties to avoid unwanted additional fees and your account being escalated. We will do our best to work with you to assist in difficult situations.

Can the Interlock Stop My Car?

The interlock will stop you starting your car if it is in lockout but it will never stop your car while the engine is running. If you miss or fail a retest and don’t take a subsequent test in the countdown period the alarms will sound and indicator lights will flash but the vehicle will not turn off unless you turn the ignition off yourself. Turning the ignition off will turn the alarms off.

Ready to Start Your Alcohol Interlock Program?

Guardian is a trusted provider of alcohol interlock programs on behalf of state government authorities and private companies throughout Australia.