Alcohol Interlock Program


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The Alcohol Interlock Program is where a court orders a driver to have a device installed into his or her vehicle whereby a breath sample must be provided before the ignition can activate.

An alcohol interlock order must be made where a driver is convicted for mid or high range drink driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol (an ‘alcohol DUI’), unless the court grants an exemption.

Alternatively, a driver can request an alcohol interlock order to ensure they spend as little time off the road as possible.

In that case, the driver will normally spend a reduce ‘disqualification period’ followed by an ‘interlock compliance period’ – where they can drive their vehicle if it is fitted with an approved device and they have obtained an interlock driver licence.

If an interlock order is made, the driver must arrange and pay for the installation of the approved device.

How Does the Alcohol Interlock Program Work?

An alcohol interlock order is made on the day of a person’s sentencing proceedings.

The court will prescribe a certain minimum period whereby the driver must not drive at all (known as the disqualification period) followed by an interlock compliance period – during which he or she can drive the interlock-fitted vehicle.

The driver will need to obtain an interlock driver licence once his or her vehicle has been appropriately fitted.

Will I be Placed On the Alcohol Interlock Program?

Certain offences attract a ‘mandatory interlock order’, which means the driver must comply with the interlock program unless granted an exemption.

Mandatory interlock orders apply to all high range and mid range drink driving convictions, and to driving under the influence (or ‘DUI’) where alcohol is involved.

An exemption may be granted where an interlock order would cause ‘severe hardship’ or where it is otherwise appropriate in the circumstances.

Where an order is not mandatory, the court may order participation on application by the driver or of its own accord.

The court will specify a minimum disqualification period – during which a person cannot drive at all – followed by a period during which he or she can drive provided the approved interlock device is installed and the driver is licensed.

The applicable periods are:

Offence

Disqualification period (cannot drive at all)

Interlock period (can drive with an interlock device)

Disqualification period where an exemption order is made

Applies to offences committed on or after

Low, novice or special range PCA – second or more offence in 5 years Min: 1 month

Max: 3 months

12 months Automatic: 12 months

Min: 6 months

1 Feb 2015
Mid range PCA – first offence Min: 3 months

Max: 6 months

12 months Automatic: 12 months

Min: 6 months

3 Dec 2018
Mid range PCA – second or more offence in 5 years

 

Min: 6 months

Max: 9 months

24 months Automatic: 3 years

Min: 12 months

1 Feb 2015
High range PCA – first offence Min: 6 months

Max: 9 months

24 months Automatic: 3 years

Min: 12 months

1 Feb 2015
High range PCA – second or more offence in 5 years Min: 9 months

Max: 12 months

48 month Automatic: 5 years

Min: 2 years

1 Feb 2015
Drive under the influence of alcohol – first offence Min: 6 months

Max: 9 months

24 months Automatic: 3 years

Min: 12 months

3 Dec 2018
Drive under the influence of alcohol – second or more offence in 5 years Min: 9 months

Max: 12 months

48 months Automatic: 5 years

Min: 2 years

3 Dec 2018
Refuse to provide a sample – first offence Min: 6 months

Max: 9 months

24 months Automatic: 3 years

Min: 12 months

1 Feb 2015
Refuse to provide a sample – second or more offence in 5 years Min: 9 months

Max: 12 months

48 months Automatic: 5 years

Min: 2 years

1 Feb 2015
How Much Does the Program Cost?

The costs associated with the program must be paid by the participant and include:

  • installation of the alcohol interlock device
  • monthly device leasing fee
  • regular servicing
  • device removal fee

The costs are generally between $2000 and $2500 per year.

However, a concession discount of 35% may apply to those who are on a pension, have a low income health care card or have a department of veteran affairs gold card.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

If you’ve been charged with drink driving and want the best results, it’s vital that you get the best legal team on your side.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, we have represented clients in thousands of alcohol-related driving matters. We pride ourselves on our ability to obtain outstanding results in the most serious cases, including high range PCA.

Our team will do everything possible to ensure that you achieve the best result , including assisting you to take steps and obtain materials that will place you in the strongest position in court, and persuasively presenting your case before the Magistrate.

If you are facing charges, obtain the best result in your traffic case by calling us now on (02) 9261 8881 and arrange your FREE first conference with an experienced defence lawyer.

We offer fixed fees for all drink driving cases.


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