Guardian is a trusted provider of alcohol interlock programs on behalf of state government authorities throughout Australia. Typically targeted at high-risk, serious, and repeat offenders, enrolment on the alcohol interlock program follows a disqualification period and requires an alcohol interlock device to be fitted to the offender’s vehicle by an approved Guardian Service Centre.

The alcohol interlock device prevents the offender from driving the vehicle under the influence and reports any attempted breaches to Guardian and the relevant state authority.

An alcohol interlock is an electronic breath-testing device connected to the ignition of cars, motorcycles, and heavy vehicles. Drivers must provide a breath sample that the interlock analyses for the presence of alcohol before the vehicle will start. If a positive sample is detected, the vehicle will not start. Randomly timed breath tests must also be passed during a journey. Additionally, in some states the alcohol interlock also includes a camera and takes a photograph of the person providing the breath sample to reduce the driver’s risk of circumventing the program.

Guardian 2030 Interlock Training Video for:

What are the Steps Involved in an Interlock Program/Scheme?

Below is an outline of the steps involved in an alcohol interlock program or scheme. These steps are intended to be a general overview of the program, as each state has different eligibility requirements. Details provided by your state government will offer more specific information than we can cover here.

Government Provided Paperwork

Licence &
Concession card*

You must be present for Reference Image**

Install & First
Months Fees Due

Insurance
is Available

*Only if applicable. **NSW and VIC only.

Step 1Schedule an Install

Find a Local Service Centre

Most participants choose to select service centre, often based on convenience. For example access to their residence or workplace. You can also shop around in order to seek out the best cost of installation, service and removal.

Service Centre Map

Private or Commercial Interlocks

Alcohol interlocks are not only for offenders but are available for private and commercial use. Alcohol interlocks for private use are available for purchase or hire and are programmable to meet the owner’s requirements.

Interlock Products

Step 2Installation & Training

Interlock Installation

An interlock can be installed in virtually every vehicle provided there is an ignition switch. Some vehicles will require extra work and/or extra parts, which results in extra cost. Your chosen service centre can provide you with a quote for installation and how long they will require your vehicle. Training is completed at the service centre during installation and we encourage all users of the vehicle to attend. You will need to organise someone to drive you to your installation appointment as your driving privileges will have been suspended.

Learning to Use the Interlock

Training will cover; how the interlock works, general advice on compliance to clarify any questions about the information provided by the government, and a demonstration by the participant on their ability to use the device. On completion of installation and training, you will be given a User Manual and Compliance Guide to keep. Your next appointment date will also be made.

Watch Training Video

Step 3Complete Mandated Period

Duration of Alcohol Interlock Program

The minimum and maximum program period will vary depending on program requirements for your state. Offenders will only complete the program when they have demonstrated sufficient and prolonged responsible driving behaviour.

The duration of a participant’s program will also depend upon their performance on the alcohol interlock. After each interlock service, the data downloaded is transmitted to the authority, who will then assess the performance log. Any violations of the program can extend the period of participation.

Servicing the Alcohol Interlock Device

The alcohol interlock must be serviced at regular intervals, pre-set by the individual state program. For example, in Victoria, interlock servicing is every 30 days, while in other states, after the initial 30 day service the service period can go up to 90 days.

Alcohol interlock servicing is simple, requiring the participant to present their vehicle at their appointment time. The interlock is checked, calibrated, device data is downloaded, and the next service appointment date is set. There are fees payable at each interlock service including lease fees for the next month. A fee list can be found on this website.

Step 4Removal of Interlock Device / Interlock Device Removal

Alcohol Interlock Removal

Upon completing an alcohol interlock program, participants can have the device removed (fees apply) by one of Guardians Service Centres. Ensure that you bring your Government Authority Advice if required.

You can choose to have your interlock device removed voluntary at any time. Voluntary removal will incur an additional Early Termination Fee. This fee will be refunded provided you have your interlock reinstalled with Guardian within 6 months. The period where the interlock is not installed does not count towards your program.

Private or Commercial interlocks

Alcohol interlocks and interlock programs are not only for offenders but are available for private and commercial use. Alcohol interlocks for private use are available for purchase or hire and are programmable to meet the owner’s requirements.

Interlock Products

FAQFrequently Asked Questions

What Is an Offender Interlock Program?

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 disqualification period, 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 and wish to drive them, you must have an alcohol interlock fitted to each vehicle.

Offender driving behaviour will be monitored for the duration of the program. To complete the program, you must demonstrate the ability to separate drinking and driving over a specified period. 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.

Are Interlock Programs Just for Offenders?

No. Guardian also has interlock systems for private employers and individuals. Please refer to our Private Interlocks section for more information.

What Counts as a Drink Driving Offence?

The exact criteria for drink driving offences vary from state to state. But as a general reference, such offences could include; recording breath alcohol (BAC) exceeding the legal limit or a high BAC, obtaining multiple drink driving offences within a certain period, and refusing to provide a breath sample to a police officer. Please see your state’s interlock program information page for more information.

Heavy penalties apply for driving while disqualified.

How Long Do I Have to Stay on The Program?

The minimum and maximum interlock programs will vary depending on the offence and the state. Offenders will only complete the program when they have demonstrated sufficient and prolonged responsible driving behaviour. Any violations of the program can extend the period of participation. Please check your state’s alcohol interlock program information page for specific guidance.

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.

What are the Program Fees?

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 our fees can also be found on this website.

Concession eligibility requirements vary from state to state. Participants authorise Guardian to confirm card validity and rate, by a submitted e-Services Form. Click here to find an online form to complete and submit.

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.

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 is sent to the Road Traffic Authority in your State and could extend your program participation period.

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 may require you to return to the service centre for an unscheduled service, and can cause the alarms to sound if not taken.

I'm Locked Out of My Vehicle – What Do I Do?

If your interlock enters SVCLCK or VIOLOCK you will need a code to be able to start the vehicle. In this case, you will need to 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 service centre prior to 0 hours or you will need to purchase another code. The code period provided is detailed on code SMS.

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?

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, please contact Guardian or your nearest service centre for advice.

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.

Leading Interlock Products

Guardian offers premium quality, accurate and effective interlock systems for vehicles across Australia. To learn more about the products that we offer and install at our Service Centres, please follow the link below.

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