Driving with an alcohol interlock

Learn how to drive with an alcohol interlock installed in your vehicle.

Know the rules

The Alcohol Interlock Program Rules provide details about certain situations that can result in a violation when driving with an alcohol interlock.

Starting your vehicle with an alcohol-free breath test

To start a vehicle with an alcohol interlock, you’ll need to give an ‘alcohol-free’ breath test. 

If the interlock detects a BAC reading of .02 or more, this is recorded as a failed test. If you fail an initial breath test to start the vehicle, you’ll have 60 minutes to retest successfully. If you don’t retest  or fail the retest, this is a violation.

Please note that as you have a zero BAC licence condition, any BAC reading could result in a further offence if detected during a police breath test.

Giving breath tests every time you drive

The alcohol interlock will also request breath tests periodically during every trip.
If you fail the breath test or don’t take a breath test during your trip, you have 15 minutes to retest successfully. If you keep driving without taking the test or fail the test, the vehicle’s lights and horn will activate. 

Alcohol interlocks have cameras

All alcohol interlocks fitted after 30 January 2015 have a camera. The camera takes 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.

What if the interlock doesn't have a camera? 

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. However, without an image to confirm who is driving, it will be assumed that you are the driver responsible for any violations that happen.

Storing your alcohol interlock data

Whenever you use the vehicle, the alcohol interlock will record actions such as: 

  • blowing into the interlock
  • starting the engine and
  • turning off the engine. 

The recorded information is downloaded at interlock servicing and is used by VicRoads 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.

AIMS is an online portal to help you track your progress towards successfully completing your Alcohol Interlock Program. All program participants can register to use AIMS. 

Go to The Alcohol Interlock Management System to login or register.

As a registered AIMS user, you’ll be able to see: 

  • monthly progress summaries
  • your results for each month (pass, fail, absent)
  • a visual summary of your progress score.

AIMS also provides you with additional tools to help you review and contest any violations, and the ability to download your Participant Progress Report at any time.
If you have a drink driving offence committed before 1 October 2014, you may see certain violations that won’t impact your progress on the Program, if they are eligible to apply for removal of your interlock condition before 2 December 2020. From 2 December 2020, all types of violations will delay when you are eligible to successfully apply for removal of your interlock condition.

Your interlock is not a breathalyser

Never use your alcohol interlock as a personal breathalyser to check if you can drive. Failed breath tests can result in violations.

Some foods, drinks and products can contain traces of alcohol

Because some foods and drinks contain small traces of alcohol, you should only drink water in the 15 minutes before using the interlock

Some products such as hand sanitisers and mouthwash can contain alcohol. It’s recommended that you avoid using products containing alcohol, by using alcohol-free alternatives. Take note of any warnings that your supplier says about any specific food, drinks and products containing alcohol that may result in a failed breath test.

Don’t leave your vehicle running, unattended or in accessory mode

If you do, the alcohol interlock may request a test which you may not be aware of. If this happens, this will be recorded as a refused breath test. If you don’t take the retest within 15 minutes, this is considered a violation.

Take the breath test before turning off the vehicle.

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 should take the test before turning off the vehicle.  If you turn off the vehicle without taking the test, this will be recorded as a refused breath test. If you don’t take the retest within 15 minutes, this is considered a violation.

A disconnected battery
If your vehicle’s battery is disconnected for more than 20 minutes, a violation may be recorded.
Go to Alcohol interlock program rules to learn more.

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 device. Your supplier and their service agents will be able to assist you.

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