Your Guide To The NSW Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program

Imagine a night out with friends, laughter, and maybe a few drinks. It’s all fun until you realise you’re pulled over for driving over the limit. This is unfortunately all too common in Australia, and the NSW Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program is in place to create a safer environment on the state’s roads and address drink driving in a proactive manner.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the ins and outs of the program, ensuring you understand its significance for your safety, legal compliance, and the day you finally bid farewell to the interlock device. So, fasten your seatbelt as we take you on a journey through the steps of this program and address some questions you may have.

Step 1: Scheduling Your Installation

When you’ve been convicted of a drink driving offence and are to complete the NSW Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program within your rehabilitation, your first task is scheduling the installation. You’ll need to find an approved service centre that specialises in interlock device installation in NSW. 

Installation costs may vary depending on the type of vehicle, and while a Severe Financial Hardship subsidy scheme is in place, fees are reasonable. These fees are also dependent on the duration of the program, as an initial installation fee is paid in addition to monthly lease fees. 

Scheduling your installation is more than a mere formality; it’s the initial and vital step towards compliance. It kickstarts your path to safer driving and eventual freedom from the interlock device. So, don’t delay—book that appointment today and take control of your journey to responsible driving in NSW.

Step 2: Understanding Installation and Gearing Up for Training 

Now that your installation is scheduled, let’s dive into the next phase. During installation, your vehicle’s specifications will be assessed. Some cars may require additional parts for the interlock installation or labour, which could incur extra costs.

The crucial part is training. You must be present for the Installation to ensure your training and reference image are completed. If you have a family member that will regularly drive the vehicle, feel free to bring them along. The initial training upon installation covers essential aspects, like how the interlock device functions and compliance guidelines. You’ll receive valuable tools, including a User Manual and Compliance Guide, to assist you on your journey.

This step is vital for a smooth experience with the interlock device. It ensures you’re well-prepared for the road ahead in the NSW Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program.

Step 3: Navigating the Mandated Period with Diligence 

All participants on the program must adhere to a regular servicing schedule. The duration of an individual’s journey within the alcohol interlock program can vary depending on the severity of the offence. Interlock periods vary between 12-48 months in NSW. 

Regular servicing of your interlock device is crucial. After each service, data is transmitted to the governing authority. Violations can extend your program, so it’s essential to stay on track.

In NSW, specific servicing requirements are in place. Bi-monthly (60 days) or Monthly (30 days) services are available for most participants. However, quarterly (90 day) servicing can be approved in instances where the individual did not commit any alcohol readings or violations in the previous service period. Alternatively, quarterly services may be available for individuals in remote areas that do not have an approved service centre within an easily accessible distance.

Step 4: Removal of the Interlock Device

Finally, the day arrives when you bid farewell to the interlock device. To make this happen, follow these steps:

Program Conclusion: Your journey in the NSW Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program concludes when you’ve met the requirements, demonstrated responsible driving behaviour, and completed the mandated period.

Government Authority Advice: Before removal, ensure you have the relevant Government Authority Advice. This is a crucial document for the process.

Removal Fees: Be aware that removal of the interlock device comes with associated fees

Your Questions Answered

While our step-by-step guide provides a comprehensive overview of the NSW Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program, you might still have questions that have been left unanswered. Let’s address a couple of common queries.

Can You Get Off the Interlock Program Early?

All individuals participating in the NSW alcohol interlock program are mandated to a pre-determined period for which they must participate in the program. Despite this, individuals are entitled to opt for early removal of their interlock device. 

However, keep in mind that voluntary removal comes with an additional Early Termination Fee. This fee can be refunded if you have the interlock reinstalled with Guardian within 6 months. Importantly, the period where the interlock is not installed does not count towards your program. This may also impact your licence. Any prolonged removal of the device should be discussed with the Road Traffic Authority. So, while early removal is possible, it’s essential to consider the financial implications and licencing implications and plan accordingly. 

Which Violations Apply To The Program?

Violations in the program include failing or missing requested breath tests, whether initial or random/rolling retests with a BAC recorded above 0.20. If you fail or miss these tests, it’s considered a violation. The interlock device will trigger warning lights and a horn alarm. To stop the alarm, pull over and turn the vehicle off. You will be required to take a test on attempting to restart the vehicle. 

Look out for any violation recall and ensure you return to you service centre before the interlocks locks out at 0 hours. Any tampering or circumvention of the alcohol interlock device, such as driving without providing a breath sample, is also a serious violation. Disconnecting your car battery for 20 minutes or more also counts as a violation. It’s crucial to avoid these violations to complete the program successfully.

Can I Drive A Work Vehicle Without an Interlock?

When an individual’s job requires them to drive a vehicle, participating in the program and adhering to its various rules is crucial. The alcohol interlock programs across all states are accommodative, and they allow interlock devices to be installed in the work vehicle you operate during your participation in the alcohol interlock program. However, the individual is not permitted to drive a vehicle without an alcohol interlock at any stage during their participation in the program.

This requirement ensures the program’s integrity and your commitment to responsible driving extends to all aspects of your work-related travel. So, whether it’s a company car, a work truck, or any other vehicle associated with your job, make sure it’s equipped with the interlock device. If you are not the owner of the vehicle we will require the registered owner’s authority for installation. Compliance is key to successfully navigating the program and eventually regaining full driving privileges.

Do You Need To Install An Alcohol Interlock Device?

Guardian Interlock is among Australia’s most reputable alcohol interlock providers, with locations in every state in Australia. Therefore, you can be sure that your Guardian-approved service centre is qualified for interlock device installation, servicing, and removal of your interlock device, and our devices are compliant with your state’s regulations. Email admin@guardianinterlock.com.au or call 1300 881 005 today to get started with your alcohol interlock program

We understand how essential a vehicle is, whether for work purposes, family responsibilities, or other commitments. We’re committed to helping our clients remain compliant and on the road. Our customer care representatives are available to take your calls 8.30 am – 5:30 pm Monday to Friday. We also have an Emergency assistance line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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