Alcohol Interlock Program rules

Find out what guidelines and rules apply to your alcohol interlock use.

There are a number of rules that are used to decide whether your alcohol interlock condition can be removed. A summary of the full program rules is provided here and has important advice about situations that can result in violations that will delay removal of your alcohol interlock.

Your date of offence will determine the program rules that apply to you.

The table below will help you determine which type of Program participant you are. From 2 December 2020 all Alcohol Interlock Program participants will be assessed under the full program rules.

Participant type Guidelines Program rules 
Offences on or after 1/10/2014

    Refer to the Alcohol Interlock Program Participant Guidelines [PDF 228 Kb]

    Full program rules apply to you

    Most recent offence before 1/10/2014

    Reduced removal rules until 1/12/2020

    • Six months of usage of an alcohol interlock in the past 12 months
    • In your most recent six months of usage in the past 12 months, no failed attempts to start the vehicle due to the detection of alcohol with no successful re-test within 60 minutes of the failed test at engine start.
    Full program rules apply to you after 1/12/2020

    1 December 2019 law changes allowed for a 12-month transition for those with older offences to have their alcohol interlock usage assessed under the full alcohol interlock program rules that were introduced from 1 October 2014. 

    If your offence happened before 1 October 2014, and you are eligible to apply for removal of your alcohol interlock condition by no later than 1 December 2020, your removal application will be assessed under reduced rules. 

    If you were caught drink driving on or after 1 October 2014, and have to install an alcohol interlock, the following rules apply: 

    • You must use the alcohol interlock for the minimum number of months required. You must have a current licence for at least the duration of the alcohol interlock ‘I’ condition period required for your offence. You’ll be notified by us or a Victorian Magistrates’ Court about this period. You also need to follow all the program rules for at least the minimum number of months that apply to you and your most recent five months of interlock usage must be violation-free.
    • Your alcohol interlock has a camera (if it was installed after 30 January 2015), and it will take pictures each time you blow into the device or at other times during each trip.
      • You must face directly into the camera when taking breath tests so it can take a clear full-face image of you as the driver.
      • It will be assumed that you are the driver of the vehicle unless the image clearly shows someone else.
    • Your first month is a ‘learning month’ to let you get used to the alcohol interlock. You won’t be penalised in this month. Please note that the ‘learning month’ doesn’t apply to you if you’ve moved to Victoria with an existing ‘I’ condition from interstate. This is because you should already have practice using an interlock. The learning month also does not apply if you are eligible for reduced removal rules up until 1 December 2020 (for an offence committed before 1 October 2014)
    • If you don’t drive at all for at least six months in a row or if a violation is recorded, you will need to collect a further five months of interlock data. This will delay when you’re able to apply to have your alcohol interlock condition removed from your licence. 

    To have your alcohol interlock condition removed, your interlock data must show that you have:

    • taken all breath tests that the alcohol interlock requests
    • no confirmed violations (see examples of violations below in the Failed BAC readings and other violations section below)
    • driven at least twice each month – your drive month is based on the monthly anniversary of when you had your interlock installed. If you don’t drive at least twice in the month, it will not count towards your progress.

    Go to Completing the alcohol interlock program to learn more.

    The following are examples of violations that will delay removal of your alcohol interlock condition - unless you can show that you didn’t cause them: 

    • If you fail an initial breath test to start the vehicle. This means that your BAC reading was .02 or more and you didn’t re-test successfully within 60 minutes.
    • If you fail a breath test or refuse to take a breath test while driving and you didn’t retest successfully within 15 minutes. 
    • Leaving the car running unattended. If the alcohol interlock requests a test, you may not be aware of it and it is a refused retest. If you don’t re-test within 15 minutes, this is a violation.
    • If a breath test is requested but you switch off the ignition of your vehicle instead of taking a breath test. A violation will be recorded if you don’t re-test within 15 minutes.
    • If your battery is disconnected for 20 minutes or more. 
    • Tampering with the alcohol interlock.

    You can register to use the Alcohol Interlock Management System (AIMS) to track your progress. 

    A refused breath test or a failed BAC reading* (without passing a re-test) will appear as a violation in AIMS.  If you weren’t the driver when a violation happened, you can use AIMS to contest the violation.

    If you don’t have access to AIMS you can contact Driver Relicensing Services on 1300 723 790 to contest the violation on your behalf.

    This information will be reviewed by the Driver Relicensing Services when your application for removal of the alcohol interlock condition is being assessed. 

    *Note that if your offence happened before 1 October 2014, and you are applying for removal of your interlock condition before 2 December 2020, then you would only need to contest a violation that was due to a failed initial breath test when attempting to start the vehicle.

    From 1 December 2019, regulation changes mean that VicRoads can suspend or cancel your licence for any of the following reasons:

    • Not installing an interlock within a certain time period, if you been relicensed with the ‘I’ condition prior to 1 December 2019 (when installing the interlock became a relicensing requirement).
    • Unauthorised removal of the interlock prior to successfully completing the Alcohol Interlock Program,
    • Failing to maintain or service the interlock through agreed regular services. 

    If this impacts you, VicRoads will notify you of the period of time you have to rectify the situation before a suspension or cancellation will be imposed.

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