WHAT IS AN INTERLOCK DEVICE?
An interlock device is an Electronic Breath Testing Device linked to a vehicle’s ignition system.The device is designed to prevent the vehicle from being driven unless the driver first blows into the device and prove the driver has a zero blood alcohol concentration.
Whilst driving, the driver must periodically continue to blow into the device to continue to prove that the driver has a zero blood alcohol concentration.
If the device detects alcohol in the driver’s breath, the vehicles ignition system will disable.
WHEN WILL A COURT MAKE AN INTERLOCK DEVICE ORDER?
For many years, the types of penalties that could apply in relation to driving offences have included good behaviour bonds, fines, licence disqualification periods, suspended sentences and for more serious offences or for repeat offenders, courts have also imposed gaol terms.
Since February 2015 the courts have been required to also apply a Mandatory Interlock Order to anyone who is found guilty of either:
- (a)A first offence of High Range PCA; or
- (b)A second PCA offence of any type (including low range and special range) within five (5) years of a previous PCA offence (ie in laymen’s terms, a repeat offender).
This new Interlock Order requires a person to install an interlock device in their vehicle at the end of their licence disqualification period, as set out below (please note that limited exceptions apply, please contact us for advice in relation to the same) and their driver’s licence will have a condition applied to it only permitting them to drive a vehicle which has an interlock device installed.
|Mandatory Interlock Offence||Minimum Interlock Period (starts after the licence disqualification period)|
Novice range PCA or Special range PCA or Low range PCA, if it is a second or subsequent offence within 5 years of a previous PCA offence
Mid range PCA or Driving under the Influence of Alcohol, if it is a second or subsequent offence within 5 years of a previous PCA offence
High range PCA that is a first offence
High range PCA that is a second or subsequent offence
In addition, the courts can choose to make an Interlock Device Order in relation to other serious driving offences where alcohol was a factor, including dangerous or aggravated driving causing grievous bodily harm or death.
WHAT IS THE COST OF AN INTERLOCK DEVICE?
Participating in an Interlock Program and installing an Interlock Device can cost in excess of $2,200 – however it may be possible to apply for some or all of the Program/installation fees to be paid by instalments, depending upon your financial situation. Again, please contact our office for advice in relation to the same.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON'T INSTALL AN INTERLOCK DEVICE/ENROL IN THE INTERLOCK PROGRAM WHEN ORDERED BY A COURT TO DO SO?
If a Court makes a Mandatory Interlock Order against you and you do not enrol in the interlock program at the expiry of your disqualification period, then you will remain disqualified from holding a licence (other than an interlock licence) for a period of five (5) years.