How to install and use your alcohol interlock

Find out where to get an alcohol interlock installed, how to use it and how much it costs.

If you’ve got an alcohol interlock condition on your licence*, you’ll need to get a VicRoads approved alcohol interlock fitted to any vehicle you drive.

*Licence means any Victorian learner permits and/or driver/motorcycle licence.

The alcohol interlocks used on the Victorian Alcohol Interlock Program (External link) meet strict standards to ensure the data captured is suitable for courts and VicRoads to make decisions about removing your licence condition.

Before installing an alcohol interlock, check that you don’t have a demerit point suspension due to begin shortly. This may alter your decision about when to get an alcohol interlock fitted to start driving again. You may wish to wait until after your demerit point suspension ends before you pay to install and lease the alcohol interlock. Visit Demerit Points to find out more about the Demerit Point Scheme or call 13 11 71. 

To get an alcohol interlock installed in your vehicle, you'll need to:

  1. Find an alcohol interlock supplier that has a service agent close to your location
  2. Arrange for someone to drive you and your vehicle to the supplier/service agent
  3. Sign a lease agreement with your alcohol interlock supplier
  4. Pay to get your alcohol interlock installed
  5. Be trained by your service agent on how to use the alcohol interlock and read the instructions. Please note: Anyone else who drives the vehicle should also be trained to use the alcohol interlock and needs to follow the instruction
  6. Use your alcohol interlock as required to complete the Alcohol Interlock Program (External link)

Once your alcohol interlock is installed, you'll have to bring your vehicle to all scheduled services (monthly) and pay the monthly costs.


Before driving again, you need to sign a lease agreement with an approved alcohol interlock supplier and have an alcohol interlock fitted to your vehicle.
Approved alcohol interlock suppliers:
Each supplier has service agents throughout Victoria. The suppliers and their service agents must meet strict conditions to operate in Victoria.


Supplier charges

Each supplier charges you slightly different fees, so the table below is a guide on how much it may cost you to have an alcohol interlock. Fees vary depending on the type of vehicle having the alcohol interlock fitted and the period of time you'll be leasing the alcohol interlock for. We recommend contacting each of the suppliers to compare costs. Your chosen supplier will charge you the following fees for each alcohol interlock you have:


Fee type Cost estimate only per vehicle Is a concession available?
Standard installation & training From $175
Yes, pay $50 less for one vehicle

Leasing & servicing fees* From $150 per month Yes, pay $50 less per month for one vehicle
Unscheduled service
(including lock out assistance)
From $50

No

Removal From $100 No

* See below for the Alcohol Interlock Program Cost Recovery fee.

This fee below is additional to the supplier charges and is collected from you by the service agent each month.

Alcohol Interlock Program Cost Recovery fee

From 30 January 2015, if you're in the Victorian Alcohol Interlock Program (External link), you'll pay a monthly fee for the government cost to run the Program. You'll pay this fee at your regular service and it's in addition to your monthly supplier charges. It's collected by your service agent and sent to VicRoads.  

Fee type Fee 2016/17 Is a concession available?
Alcohol Interlock Program Cost Recovery Fee $34.90 per month Yes, pay $17.40 per month on one vehicle


Concessions

You may be eligible for reduced fees if you hold one of the accepted concession cards:

  • Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card issued by Centrelink
  • Pensioner Concession Card or Gold Card issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA)

Note: The concession card must be current and issued in your name as the primary card holder. It needs to be presented at the time of installation and at each monthly service to receive the concessions. No other concession cards are accepted.

You're not eligible for a concession for this program if you hold one of the following cards:
  • Health Care Cards for Carer Allowance and Foster Care issued in the name of the child
  • Veterans' Affairs Gold Cards marked 'Dependant
Concessions apply to: 
  • one vehicle per person
  • the alcohol interlock installation fee and monthly service fee
  • the Alcohol Interlock Program cost recovery fee

Training to use the alcohol interlock

Your supplier/service agent will train you to use your alcohol interlock and provide you with the instructions. It’s important to get this training for anyone else that needs to drive the vehicle. You need to know when the alcohol interlock is requesting a test and how to blow into the interlock to have the test recorded. Always take a test requested by the alcohol interlock.

Be aware of the program rules that apply to you

It’s important that you’re aware of the program rules. Failed BAC readings or untaken breath tests could result in a violation. A violation could mean that you haven’t met the Alcohol Interlock Program rules and delay the removal of your alcohol interlock condition. Refer to Completing the Alcohol Interlock Program for the rules that apply to you. 

If your offence was committed on or after 1 October 2014, a violation may reset your progress. This means you may have to keep driving with the alcohol interlock to collect a further five months of breath tests free of alcohol/violations to show you’ve separated drinking from driving. 

Starting your vehicle

All drivers of the vehicle fitted with the alcohol interlock have to give an ‘alcohol-free’ breath test before the vehicle will start.

  • The level for a failed BAC reading on your alcohol interlock is 0.02 or more. This allows for small traces of mouth alcohol caused by some products you may use. You’re advised by the alcohol interlock supplier to not eat any food or use products that could contain small traces of alcohol. You should only drink water during the 15 minutes before any breath test. If the reading is 0.02 or more, it will be recorded as a failed tested. Note: as you have a zero BAC licence condition, any BAC reading could result in a further offence if detected during a police breath test.
  • If you fail an initial breath test to start the vehicle, you have 60 minutes to retest successfully. If you don’t retest or fail the retest, this is a violation.
  • Never use your alcohol interlock as a personal breathalyser to check if you can drive. Failed breath tests can result in violations. 

Driving with your alcohol interlock

The alcohol interlock will also request breath tests during every trip. 

  • If you fail the breath test or don’t take a breath test during your trip, you have 10 minutes to retest successfully. 

If you keep driving without taking the test or fail the test, the vehicle’s lights and horn will activate. 

Other important tips to ensure that you don’t get violations:

  • Don’t leave your vehicle running and unattended as the alcohol interlock may request a test and you may not be aware of this. This will be recorded as a refused breath test. If you don’t take the retest within 10 minutes, this is a violation.
  • If you’ve arrived at your destination and are about to turn off your vehicle when a breath test is requested by the alcohol interlock, you must take the test before turning off the vehicle. If you don’t take the test and turn off the vehicle instead, this will be recorded as a refused breath test with no retest within 10 minutes. This is a violation.

Alcohol interlocks with cameras

All alcohol interlocks fitted after 30 January 2015 have a camera. They’ll take a number of pictures during each trip, for example when you blow into the interlock to start your vehicle. These pictures provide a record of who is driving the vehicle.  

It’s important you blow into the alcohol interlock so that the camera can take a clear full face image of you each time. Unless the image clearly shows someone else, it’ll be assumed that you’re the driver.

Any alcohol interlocks installed before cameras were introduced don’t have to be changed or upgraded to fit a camera. Motorcycles are exempt from the requirement to fit a camera.


Storing your alcohol interlock data

Whenever you use the vehicle the alcohol interlock will record actions such as blowing into the interlock, starting and turning off the engine. 

The recorded information is downloaded at servicing and is used by us and the courts to make decisions about removing your alcohol interlock condition. 

  • The vehicle must be brought to all scheduled alcohol interlock services. 

Any personal information collected, handled, stored or disclosed about you through our alcohol interlock program will be managed in accordance with the Road Safety Act 1986 and Information Privacy Act 2000.

Contesting a violation

If your drink-driving offence was committed on or after 1 October 2014, you are able to 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 retest) 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 the Alcohol Interlock Support Centre on 1300 723 790 to contest the violation on your behalf.

If you’re a VicRoads managed driver, this information will be reviewed by the Alcohol Interlock Support Centre when your application for removal of the alcohol interlock condition is being assessed. 

If you’re a Court managed driver, the removal of your alcohol interlock is decided by the Court. Your assessor will review violations with you, and confirm contested violations, when preparing an assessment report for your court hearing. 

Problems with your alcohol interlock

If you’re having any problems with your alcohol interlock, please contact your alcohol interlock supplier on the support number they gave you when your alcohol interlock was installed. VicRoads doesn’t manage individual issues with an alcohol interlock. Your supplier and their service agents will be able to assist you.














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