The Alcohol Interlock Program is a court based penalty for drink drivers that commenced in 2003. The program enables drivers convicted of certain major alcohol-related offences to continue driving after a reduced disqualification period if they obtain an interlock driver licence and participate in the program.
Who is eligible?
The court will decide who is eligible to enter the program. The court will issue two orders for eligible offenders. The first order will specify the full disqualification period for the offence. The second order will specify:
- A reduced period of disqualification (the 'disqualification compliance period').
- An interlock participation period during which time the driver holds an interlock driver licence and is subject to certain licence conditions.
Participation in the program is voluntary. Those who do not obtain an interlock driver licence from Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) will be required to serve their full disqualification period.
What is an alcohol interlock?
An alcohol interlock device is an electronic breath-testing device connected to the ignition of a vehicle. The vehicle will not start unless the driver passes a breath test.
Why is the interlock penalty a sentencing option?
Drink driving is a factor in approximately one in five fatal crashes. Over the five years 1998 to 2002 there were 525 people killed and 9,011 people injured as a result of a drink driving crash.
In addition many drink drivers continue to offend. Each year around 18 per cent of those convicted of drink driving have a previous drink driving conviction. Drink driving is also associated with driving while disqualified.
The interlock penalty provides drink drivers with an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves and to legally drive when they are sober.
This penalty helps to remove drink drivers from our roads.
Interlock installation and servicing
Costs associated with the installation and servicing of alcohol interlocks are the responsibility of the participant. There are two approved alcohol interlock providers in NSW. You can find more information about the providers, including the locations of their installers and prices on their websites:
Guardian Interlocks - click here
Draeger Safety Pacific - click here
As part of the requirements to obtain an interlock driver licence applicants must attend a consultation with a doctor no earlier than 28 days before the end of the disqualification period.
Contact details of doctors specially trained in the Drink-less program can be found by clicking here.
The Drink-less program includes a survey about alcohol use that takes around five minutes and is followed by a short discussion with the doctor.
You cannot pass or fail the medical appointment. It is designed to provide interlock driver licence applicants with the opportunity to discuss alcohol issues with a doctor.
The Alcohol Interlock Program Information Package includes a Drink-less certificate for the doctor to sign. Interlock licence applicants must take the certificate to the consultation. At the completion of the consultation, the doctor will sign this certificate.
You will need to hand in the Drink-less medical certificate at the motor registry as part of your application for an interlock driver licence.
All costs associated with the medical consultations must be paid by the applicant.