Alcohol Interlock in Victoria
An Alcohol Interlock in Victoria is a breath test machine hard wired onto the ignition system of your vehicle. They detect any alcohol (at 0.02% or above) and will not allow the vehicle to start until a further sample is provided without containing alcohol.
All drivers found guilty of drink driving or even drug driving cannot be relicensed without an alcohol interlock device condition attached. This means the driver cannot lawfully drive any vehicle unless that vehicle is fitted with an alcohol interlock device.
Since 1 October 2014 first offenders who lose their licence with readings under 0.15% will automatically have a 6-month interlock condition imposed. It is imposed by VicRoads without the need to apply to a Magistrates Court for permission to be re-licensed. Some other (more serious or historic) matters may be required to return to court. Resulting in the offender having to apply for permission from a Magistrate to be relicensed. The alcohol interlock device condition imposed at that time.
The driver must pay all the costs associated with the installation and maintenance of the interlock device. VicRoads also charges an administration fee of approximately $40 per month to manage the interlock condition that is imposed on your licence. The interlock condition can be removed only by order of a Magistrate. The only way to avoid a mandatory alcohol interlock device condition is to successfully defend the charges.
When is an Interlock Required
Find out more about each drink driving penalty here and when an Alcohol Interlock is required:
- Penalties for first offences committed on or after 30 April 2018
- Penalties for second or subsequent offences committed on or after 30 April 2018
First time offenders
If you lost your licence as a result of a drink driving offence committed after 1/10/14 and it was the only drink driving conviction within 10 years of the date you apply for a licence then you will automatically receive a 6 months interlock condition on your licence from VicRoads. The period of ten years is calculated from the date of the offence to the date of the application for a licence. The date the matter went to court or when you were convicted is not relevant.
Avoiding an Interlock
If your most recent offence is after 1/10/14 and you lost your licence, then the only way to avoid an interlock is to apply for an exemption on health grounds, that you are physically incapable of adhering to the usage of the device. This application will require a medical review to certify any possible exemption, however it could result in licence conditions or suspensions if such poor health makes the individual unfit to drive.
For more information
There are specific requirements around the installation and management of an Alcohol Interlock. Ensure you engage an experienced traffic lawyer to help you navigate the process and get your licence back sooner.