About the Victorian Alcohol Interlock Program

Learn about the Victorian Alcohol Interlock Program.

If you’ve lost your licence because of a drink driving offence, you’ll need to complete the Alcohol Interlock Program before you can get your licence back.

To complete the program, you must have an alcohol interlock device installed in your vehicle. 

An alcohol interlock is an electronic breath testing device that prevents a vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath. The alcohol interlock also requests breath tests during your trip. It records all breath tests and any attempts you make to drive with alcohol on your breath. 

Completing the program

You’ll need to complete the following steps before you can apply to get your licence back:

  1. Have an alcohol interlock device installed in your vehicle by an approved alcohol interlock supplier.
  2. Download and complete the Alcohol Interlock Installation Certificate [PDF 122 Kb] and take it with you when you have the alcohol interlock installed. The alcohol interlock can only be installed by a VicRoads approved alcohol interlock supplier.
  3. The supplier will sign your installation certificate when the interlock has been installed in your vehicle. This certificate is required to get your licence back. 
  4. Register to use the Alcohol Interlock Management System (AIMS). The data recorded by your interlock device is saved to AIMS. AIMS is an online portal where you can log in to monitor your interlock usage and track your own progress. Visit the alcohol interlock management system page to find out about how to register and login.
  5. Follow program guidelines and successfully complete the behaviour change program and then you can apply to get your licence back.

Medical exemptions from an alcohol interlock condition

You can apply for a medical exemption from the Alcohol Interlock Program if:

  • you have a medical condition that prevents you from using an alcohol interlock and
  • you can provide evidence (a report from a medical specialist) saying that you can't use an alcohol interlock.

If you apply for a medical exemption, we'll also assess whether your health allows you to continue driving.

To apply for a medical exemption, you'll need to complete the Interlock exemption or removal on medical grounds application form (PDF 210kb) and follow the instructions on the form to return it to us.

How the alcohol interlock device works

Whenever you use the vehicle, the alcohol interlock will record:

  • a breath blown into the interlock
  • the engine starting
  • the engine turning off. 

The data recorded by your alcohol interlock is downloaded during scheduled services and sent to VicRoads. It is used to make decisions about whether you've successfully completed the program. 

How long will I need an interlock?

The minimum length of time you'll need an interlock depends on:

  • when your offence was committed
  • the type of offence you committed
  • your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading (if applicable)
  • if this was your first offence.

See the drink-driving penalties page to find out more about drink-driving offences, the penalties that apply and the minimum alcohol interlock period required for each type of offence. 

Program guidelines

If you don't follow the guidelines of the program, you'll need to keep the interlock on for longer.

The months that you use the interlock don't need to be in a row, but if you don't drive at all for six months or more, then you'll need to start collecting interlock data all over again.

Failed BAC readings and other violations

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.

Contesting a violation

When you use 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. 

Driver Relicensing Services will review this information when your application for removal of the alcohol interlock condition is being assessed.

Interlock regulations to suspend or cancel your licence 

VicRoads can suspend or cancel your licence(s) for: 

  • failing to install the interlock
  • failing to service and maintain the interlock as agreed with the supplier
  • unauthorised removal of the interlock before you’ve completed the Alcohol Interlock Program.

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

If you have questions about the Victorian Alcohol Interlock Program or an alcohol interlock medical exemption, contact the Driver Relicensing Services Team on 1300 723 790 or email [email protected].

 

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