Print

Alcohol ignition interlocks

About 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/breath 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 may not stop a driver from starting the vehicle. 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.

Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program

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.

Interlock period

When your driving disqualification ends an 'interlock period' will apply to you. This is a non- driving period that applies if you don't participate in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program.

Your interlock period will be:

  • 2 years if it is applied before 10 September 2021
  • 5 years if it is applied on or after 10 September 2021.

During your interlock period you can only drive if you:

  • hold a licence with an 'I' interlock condition
  • have an interlock fitted to a nominated vehicle.

Participate in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program

You can participate in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program by having an interlock fitted to your nominated vehicle. You must participate in the program for at least 12 months.

While you are in the program you must:

  • hold a current licence with an 'I' for interlock condition (time doesn't count if your licence is expired, cancelled or suspended)
  • have a 'no alcohol' limit when driving
  • attend all interlock service appointments
  • not attempt to tamper with or bypass the interlock.

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 interlock. If the interlock detects alcohol the engine will not start.

There are measures in place to ensure the interlock can't be bypassed by having another person start the vehicle for you. If you do not follow all of the interlock program rules you will need to be in the program for longer than 12 months.

Complete the program

If you participate in the interlock program and follow all of the program rules for at least 12 months you will be eligible to complete the program.

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 following approved interlock providers listed alphabetically:

Draeger Australia Pty Ltd
Phone: 1300 780 689
Email: interlock.australia@draeger.com

Guardian Interlock Systems
Phone: 1300 881 005
Email: enquiries@guardianinterlock.com.au

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.

Exemptions

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.

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 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.

Circumstances Maximum annual income Maximum liquid assets
Single (single or separated)—not in workforce$25,663.64 $3,000
1 dependent child $33,940.48 $3,000
2 dependent children $41,828.36 $3,000
3 dependent children $49,716.24 $3,000
4+ dependent children $57,603.60 $3,000
Single (single or separated)—in workforce$31,183.44 $3,000
1 dependent child $39,465.48 $3,000
2 dependent children $47,348.16 $3,000
3 dependent children $55,236.04 $3,000
4+ dependent children $63,123.40 $3,000
Couple (married or de facto)—neither in workforce$35,519.20 $5,000
1 dependent child $43,407.08 $5,000
2 dependent children $51,294.44 $5,000
3 dependent children $59,182.32 $5,000
4+ dependent children $67,070.20 $5,000
Couple (married or de facto)—either/both in workforce$41,039.00 $5,000
1 dependent child $48,926.88 $5,000
2 dependent children $56,814.24 $5,000
3 dependent children $64,702.12 $5,000
4+ dependent children $72,590.00 $5,000

These thresholds are subject to change and are current as at 30 June 2020. 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.

Apply 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.

Apply by mail

Send your application and supporting documentation to:

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