If you are convicted of a drink driving offence, you may be required to participate in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program. A drink driving lawyer in Brisbane can help you understand the rules and conditions of this program and whether it is likely to apply to you.
Will I need an alcohol interlock device?
The Alcohol Interlock Ignition Program applies to drivers who are convicted of a high-risk drinking offences. High risk drinking offences are as follows:
- driving, or attempting to put in motion or be in charge of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol
- driving, or attempting to put in motion or be in charge of a vehicle with a blood/breath alcohol concentration of:
- 15 or more
- 10 or more (for offences committed on or after 10 September 2021)
- failing to provide a blood/breath specimen for analysis
- dangerous driving while affected by alcohol
- 2 or more drink driving offences within 5 years.
There are two separate interlock programs. Depending on when you were convicted, you will either be in the performance-based or the time-based interlock program. Your court order will specify the date of the conviction.
You are eligible for the interlock program either:
- The day after your license suspension ends; or;
- The day a court grants you a restricted licence (known as a work licence).
If you choose not to participate in the interlock program, you won’t be able to drive for a significant period even after the end of your licence disqualification. Your drink driving lawyer in Brisbane will explain the consequences to you so you can make an educated decision.
Performance-based interlock program
You will be in the performance-based program if:
- You were convicted of a high-risk drink driving offence before 9 September 2021 and your licence disqualification ends on or after 9 September 2021; or
- You are convicted of a high-risk drink driving offence on or after 9 September 2021
The performance-based program monitors your interlock use and data. Your data will need to demonstrate that you have provided all required breath tests and returned zero alcohol readings, and that you have attended all scheduled interlock services.
You will be in the program for a minimum of 12 months. If you don’t follow the rules as set out above, your time will be extended.
If you don’t participate, you will not be allowed to drive for five years after the end of your disqualification. You will also not be able to drive on a restricted licence even if one is granted by the court.
Time-based interlock program
You will be in the time-based interlock program if:
- You were convicted of a high-risk drink driving offence before 9 September 2021 and your licence disqualification ends before 9 September 2021
The time-based program does not require you to be monitored. However, you need to be in the program for a minimum of 12 months. During that time you must:
- only drive a nominated vehicle with an interlock installed
- have a zero-alcohol limit when driving
- attend scheduled interlock services
- not tamper with or bypass the interlock device
If you don’t participate, you will not be allowed to drive for two years after the end of your disqualification.
Exemptions to the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program
In certain circumstances you may be able to apply for an exemption from installing an interlock in a nominated vehicle. These circumstances are very limited and the criteria is strict. You must show that one of the following applies:
- You live in a remote location.
- You live on an island.
- You have a medical condition that stops you from providing enough breath to operate an interlock.
- You or your family member will experience severe hardship if you are not granted an exemption.
It is not sufficient to claim that you can’t install the interlock for employment, education or financial reasons. Our specialist drink driving lawyers in Brisbane can help you work out if you meet the criteria and give you advice on providing the evidence you need to get the exemption.
If you are granted an exemption, you must carry your approved exemption certificate at all times. Police officers may ask you to produce the certificate on request. You may be fined if you drive without the certificate.
For any drink driving offence, consult a drink driving lawyer in Brisbane as soon as possible. We will investigate whether there is a basis for the charge and if you have any defences. We may be able to secure a reduced charge and reduce the stress and impact on your life. The earlier you get in touch with our specialist drink driving Brisbane lawyers, the better.