Alcohol ignition interlocks

An alcohol ignition interlock is a breath test device linked to the ignition system of a vehicle. The interlock is designed to prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds zero. The ignition interlock is designed to deter and prevent convicted drink drivers from operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol.

Drivers must provide a breath sample that the interlock analyses for the presence of alcohol before the vehicle will start. As alcohol takes time to be absorbed into a person’s bloodstream, an interlock device may not stop a driver from starting the vehicle. Therefore, the interlock also requires additional breath tests at random intervals during the journey.

An interlock driver apprehended by the police with a reading over zero BAC will be charged with drink driving.

You will be subject to the Alcohol Ignition Interlock 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 0.15 or more
  • 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.

If you choose not to have an approved interlock fitted, you will not be able to legally drive a motor vehicle for 2 years after your disqualification period ends.

Driving with an alcohol ignition interlock

You may only drive a nominated vehicle that is fitted with an approved interlock, while holding a valid driver licence with an 'I' condition. You must not have any alcohol in your system while driving.

Other drivers, such as family members, may drive the vehicle with the interlock installed. These drivers must also check their BAC by blowing into the ignition interlock. If the driver’s BAC is over the pre-set level the engine will not start. There are measures in place to ensure the interlock cannot be bypassed by having another person start the vehicle for the interlock driver.

Getting an alcohol ignition interlock

Step 1: Apply for your licence

Once your disqualification period ends, you will need to

You will need to bring:

You no longer have to complete a driver licence application form when visiting a Department of Transport and Main Roads Customer Service Centre.

You will still need to complete a driver licence application form (F3000) at police stations and most QGAP offices.

A probationary licence with an ‘I’ condition on it will be sent to you when you have successfully completed your licence application. If you have signed up for e-reminders we will email you when your licence is posted and will send you a reminder when it's due to be renewed.

Step 2: Contact the interlock provider

You will need to arrange to have an interlock installed in your nominated vehicle and you will have to pay for all costs including the installation, rental, servicing and removal of your interlock. You cannot buy and install your own interlock.

You may be eligible for a discount on the costs if you hold a valid health care card issued by the Australian Government.

For more information, contact either of the approved interlock providers:

Draeger Australia Pty Ltd
Phone: 1300 780 689

Guardian Interlock Systems
Phone: 1300 881 005

Step 3: Nominate your vehicle

You will need to give the provider a completed vehicle nomination form (F4841). You can only drive the vehicle you have nominated.

If you drive a company vehicle, you will need to gain your employer’s permission for an interlock to be installed in that vehicle so that you can legally drive it.

Your employer will need to sign the vehicle nomination form (F4841) before you give the form to your chosen interlock provider.


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.

Driving with an exemption

If granted an exemption, you must carry your approved exemption certificate with you at all times and produce it if asked to by a police officer. You can be fined if you drive without your approved exemption certificate.

Applying for an exemption

You can apply for an exemption up to 6 weeks before your drink driving disqualification period ends. The interlock exemption information sheet (S4863) provides more information about exemptions and what documents you will need to apply.

Apply in person

Complete and lodge an interlock exemption application form (F4862) at your nearest transport and motoring customer service centre.

If your application relates to a medical condition you will also need to lodge a medical certificate exemption form (F4864), which must be completed in consultation with your treating doctor.

You will also need to pay the application fee.

Apply by mail

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

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

Financial assistance

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for financial assistance if you:

  • hold a valid Queensland driver licence with an 'I' for interlock licence condition or you have a pending licence application
  • are an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • have an annual income and bank balance (liquid assets) below the maximum allowable limits, which apply to your circumstances (see table below)
  • have not received financial assistance for the interlock program in the last 5 years.

If you have a partner, their income and bank balance will also be assessed. If you are a dependent child, your parent(s)/guardian(s)’ income and liquid assets will be assessed.

CircumstancesMaximum    annual incomeMaximum    liquid assets
Single    (single or separated)—not in workforce


1 dependent child$31,949.40$3,000
2 dependent children$39,345.88$3,000
3 dependent children$46,741.84$3,000
4+ dependent children$54,137.80$3,000
Single (single or separated)—in    workforce$29,364.48$3,000
1 dependent child$37,130.68$3,000
2 dependent children$44,521.44$3,000
3 dependent children$51,917.92$3,000
4+ dependent children$59,313.88$3,000
Couple (married or de facto)—neither    in workforce$33,429.84$5,000
1 dependent child$40,825.80$5,000
2 dependent children$48,222.28$5,000
3 dependent children$55,618.24$5,000
4+ dependent children$63,014.72$5,000
Couple (married or de    facto)—either/both in workforce$38,605.40$5,000
1 dependent child$46,001.88$5,000
2 dependent children$53,397.84$5,000
3 dependent children$60,794.32$5,000
4+ dependent children$68,190.28$5,000

These thresholds are subject to change and are current as at 30 September 2018. These figures are derived from the Henderson Poverty Line, which is updated quarterly.

Financial assistance, if approved, can help cover the cost of:

  • fitting an interlock
  • interlock rental and scheduled servicing
  • removing the interlock.

The funds are paid directly to the interlock provider.

Applying for financial assistance

You may apply for financial assistance up to 6 weeks before your drink driving disqualification period. The financial assistance scheme information sheet (S4900) provides more information about financial assistance and what documents you will need to apply.

You can apply for financial assistance in 2 ways:

In person

Complete and lodge the alcohol ignition interlock financial assistance application form (F4899) and your supporting documentation at your nearest transport and motoring customer service centre.

By mail

Send your application and supporting documentation to:

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