Alcohol Interlock in QLD

The Program

You will be subject to the Alcohol Interlock in QLD Program if you are convicted of any of these offences:

  • driving under the influence of alcohol
  • a drink driving offence with a blood/breath alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more (recent reform reducing the cut-off from 0.15)
  • failing to provide a blood/breath specimen for analysis
  • dangerous driving while affected by alcohol
  • 2 or more drink driving offences of any kind within a 5-year period.

To complete the program, you must hold a valid driver licence with an ‘I’ condition (for ‘interlock’) on it and have an approved interlock fitted to a nominated vehicle for a minimum period of 12 months.

You may only drive a nominated vehicle that is fitted with an approved interlock, while holding a valid driver licence with an ‘I’ condition.

There are also a number of new requirements to complete the program that are being rolled out currently through to the end of 2021, so it is important to speak to someone when this becomes relevant to you, to find out what measures are in place at that point in time.

The Penalty

You must not have any alcohol in your system while driving during this period, and if caught with a BAC above 0.00%, you will face further drink driving charges. Typically however, an interlock device will detect any alcohol above 0.02% on your breath and the vehicle will not start.

Following recent legislative reforms on drink driving, if you choose not to have an approved interlock fitted, you will now not be able to legally drive a motor vehicle for 5 years after your disqualification period ends. See the QLD Government Website for the latest on drink driving reforms.

If you are caught driving a vehicle without an interlock fitted during this period (or during the “I” condition) you will be charged for breaching this condition and have to go to court for a new offence. You will be fined and also may have your driver licence disqualified for a further 3 months for a first offence or 6 months for a second offence. You will also need to start the interlock program again.

Can I Avoid the Interlock?

Exemptions

The interlock device is mandatory unless you apply for and are granted an exemption. You may be able to apply for an exemption if you:

  • live in a remote location—outside a 150km radius from the nearest interlock installer’s place of business
  • live on an island—not connected to the mainland by bridge, where there is no interlock installer and the island is not a non-exempt island. This does not apply if you live on any of these islands:
    • Coochiemudlo Island
    • Fraser Island
    • Karragarra Island
    • Lamb Island
    • Macleay Island
    • Magnetic Island
    • North Stradbroke Island
    • Orpheus Island
    • Russell Island
  • have a medical condition that stops you from providing the required volume of breath to operate the interlock.
  • have extenuating circumstances that impact on your ability to reasonably use an interlock—these circumstances must cause you or your family severe hardship. An interlock exemption will not be granted if you are unable to install the interlock for employment or financial reasons.

Applying for an Exemption

You can make an application for an exemption up to 6 weeks before your DUI disqualification period ends.

The QLD Transport Interlock Exemption Information Sheet provides further information regarding an interlock exemption and what evidence you will require for the application.

Application made in person:

The application for an interlock exemption needs to be lodged at the closest QLD Transport location and must be lodged using the approved Interlock Exemption Application Form.

If your application relates to a medical condition you should attach any medical evidence supporting your condition and your application.

Application fees will be required at the time of lodgement.

Application made by mail:

You can send your exemption application form and cost (cheque or money order payable to the Department of Transportation and Main Roads) to:

Department of Transport and Main Roads Interlock Processing Unit GPO Box 1412 Brisbane QLD 4001