Alcohol Interlock Program – What is it?
If you are convicted of a drink driving offence, you can ask the Court to participate in this program. the Interlock an electronic device, which is wired to the ignition and prevents a vehicle from staring unless the driver passes a breath test.
The Alcohol Interlock Program is designed to allow convicted drink drivers to continue to legally drive after serving a short period of disqualification. The exact period of disqualification will vary depending on the offence charged.
Am I Eligible to take part in the Interlock Program?
You may be eligible to participate in the program if you have been issued with a Court Attendance Notice for one of the following offences:
- Low-range PCA (if you have previously been convicted of a PCA offence within the last five years.)
- Mid-range PCA.
- High-range PCA.
- Refuse or fail to submit to breath analysis.
- Any of the above, if you have previously been convicted of a PCA offence at all, or within the last five years.
If you are a first time low range or special range PCA driver, generally, you will not be eligible for Interlock.
Also, if you are subject to a Habitual Offender Declaration, you may also not be eligible for Interlock.
How Does the Interlock Device Work?
Once the order is made by Court for you to take part in the Interlock Program, an RMS approved Interlock Device is fitted to your car, at your expense. Each time you wish to start the car, you need to pass a breath test. If you are over the legal limit, the engine simply will not start.
The device is also programmed to require retests to be taken at random intervals to prevent you from having someone else provide a sample on your behalf.
Should you fail a retest the interlock device is programmed to sound an alarm of both horn and lights until the ignition is turned off. A breath test is then required to restart the car.
The interlock device is also programmed to immobilize the vehicle in response to fail breath tests.
How Does the Interlock Program Work?
Once the Court has convicted you of a drink driving offence, the Court has the discretion to suspend your licence disqualification provided that you participate in the Interlock Program. The law however, still requires that you complete a disqualification period before you are eligible for the interlock driving licence program.
The Court will issue two (2) separate penalty orders. The first penalty order is for a full disqualification period for the offence.
The second penalty order is the disqualification suspension order which usually provides for a reduced disqualification period (and is referred to as the disqualification compliance period) is followed by a period of time on an Interlock Device Licence (referred to the Interlock participation period).
You can apply for an Interlock Device Licence within 28 days of the disqualification compliance period expiring. The Interlock participation period begins when you are issued with an Interlock Drivers Licence.
Once you have successfully completed the Interlock participation program, the full disqualification period is deemed to have been served.
Did you Know?
- The device records all failed attempts to start the car, and the data is monitored regularly. Repeat failed attempts may result in alcohol counselling or cancellation of the Interlock program.
- If your program is cancelled, you will have to serve the rest of your disqualification sentence off the road.