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ALCOHOL IGNITION INTERLOCK PROGRAMS IN QLD: EXPLAINED

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

What is the Queensland Alcohol Ignition Interlock program?

The main goal of this program is to regulate and ensure road safety in Queensland, by making sure drinking and driving are kept separate for previous offenders. This is done through an interlock device.


An interlock device is made to prevent someone previously convicted of a drink driving offence to operate a vehicle under the influence by testing relevant levels before vehicle operation. The Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program requires the use of these devices for a minimum of 12 months after the licence disqualification period.


Understanding Interlock Devices


How do interlock devices work, you may ask? This is defined in the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995:


“Alcohol Ignition Interlock" means a device that, when fitted to a motor vehicle, prevents the vehicle from being started unless the device is provided with a specimen of a person’s breath containing either no alcohol or less than a particular concentration of alcohol. (Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 – Sect 911)


There are many routes’ people may take to ‘trick’ the system. This is never a wise decision as the devices are highly intelligent – designed to detect any faults.


Therefore, you will not be able to, for instance, have a friend or other person bypass the test for you. The device may ask for randomised testing during the driving journey.


What about Installation Costs of Interlock Devices?


Interlock devices can be costly. They are a requirement to install in your vehicle for this program. There is financial assistance that may be available to you. Remember: financial assistance must be applied for up to 6 weeks before your drink driving disqualification period ends. For more information, it is best to discuss these concerns with a qualified Traffic Offences Lawyer.


High-Risk Drink Driving Offences – Who Participates in the Interlock Program?


Those convicted of a high-range or high-risk drink driving offence may need to comply with the program. High range drink driving offences could be one of the following:

  • Driving, being in charge of, or attempting to put in motion a vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol;

  • Driving, being in charge of, or attempting to put in motion a vehicle with a blood/breath alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more (as of September 2021);

  • Dangerous driving while under the influence of alcohol;

  • Refusing breath or blood specimen; or

  • Have committed two or more drink driving offences within five years.

When does an Interlock Program take place?


Interlock programs take place after a term of licence disqualification has ended.


NEW amendments to the Interlock Programs in Queensland


There are now two different requirements of the interlock program as commenced in September of 2021. These two requirements are (1) performance-based and (2) time-based.


These two requirements are separate ‘categories’ of the interlock program – which one you will partake in will depend on when you were convicted of your offence.


What happens if you do not follow the rules?


Some harsh penalties and consequences may arise from a failure to adhere to the rules of an Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program. It may result in being restricted to obtaining a licence and legally operating a vehicle for 5 years.


If you are to drive illegally, without a licence, you could face $4,000 in fines and further disqualifications.


If you are charged with a breach or failure to comply with the ignition program, seek legal advice as soon as you can. Further, if you are currently facing a drink driving charge – allow us to assist you. We may be able to reduce charges or assist in obtaining a special licence.


Find out more about or Traffic Offences team: https://www.chcriminallawyers.com.au/traffic-offences


Traffic Lawyers Brisbane, Townsville, Toowoomba and Roma


Contact Creevey Horrell Lawyers, today. Call us on 07 3009 6555 or email us at creeveyhorrell@crlawyers.com.au

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