Interlock orders in NSW is an order made by the court when a person is sentenced to an alcohol of alcohol related driving offence, such as drinking driving (PCA). The interlock order typically follows a period of suspension or disqualification and requires participation in the program for a period of time. The period of time depends on the offence, and can be found here.
An interlock device is an in-car breathalyzer which is installed in a vehicle. It prevents a vehicle from being started until a negative alcohol sample is provided. Contrary to popular belief the interlock device does not affect the operation of the vehicle and cannot turn off the vehicle’s engine once it is running.
How do I get the interlock device?
- You must first see a doctor about getting an Alcohol Interlock Program Medical Consultation certificate from Transport NSW.
- You must have an approved or accredited interlock service provider install and complete the associated paperwork.
- You must apply for a driver licence with an interlock condition through transport NSW.
Costs and program fees
There are costs involved with participating in the program. These costs are estimated to be between $2,200–$2,500 per year paid by you.
The estimated costs will include:
- interlock device installation
- monthly device leasing
- regular device servicing (monthly or bi-monthly)
- device removal at the end of the mandatory interlock period.
You may be eligible for a discount or assistance depending on your circumstances, Transport NSW can assist.
Rules or Guidelines
While not exhaustive the basic rules with any interlock order in NSW are:
- You must hold a current interlock driver’s licence
- Must have a zero BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) at all time while driving
- Only drive a vehicle fitted with your approved alcohol interlock device
- Take all breath tests when requested by the interlock device
- Attend all medical appointments as required
- Do not tamper with the device and ensure that the device is properly maintained.
Failure to follow the rules of the interlock order will result in a violation. Violations may result in your interlock order being extended or legal actions if there is enough evidence (further criminal offences).
Violations/breaking the rules of the interlock Order in NSW
A violation is any record of you failing to follow the rules and as mentioned previously can result in a warning, legal action in more serious cases and/or extension of time as determined by Transport NSW.
- Failing or missing requested breath tests:
- After failing an initial breath test you will be locked for a period of time, after which you have 60 minutes to retest successfully. Failing to do so is considered a violation (as this is viewed as an attempt to drink and drive).
- If you miss or fail a random or something called rolling breath test, it is considered a violation.
- Any tampering with or circumvention of the alcohol interlock device
- Missing a service
- Disconnection of the car’s barter for 20 minutes or more
- Not attending medical appointments as directed.
To complete the program you must be violation free in the final 5 months of the program. Each violation can cause your program to be extended for another 5 months.
Can I be exempt from an Interlock Order?
In certain circumstances a person can be exempt from an interlock order in NSW, this is determined during sentencing at court. The grounds for the application differs depending on the type of offence and if it is a persons first or subsequent offence.
An exemption order generally speaking when:
- It would cause severe hardship to the person; and
- The making of the interlock exemption order is more appropriate in all the circumstances
Generally, these orders can centre around a person that does have access to a car or there is medical condition that prevents you from providing a sample of your breath. Both of these submissions would require extensive evidence to the court to be able to make a decision.
Some of the approved Interlock Providers in NSW.