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What You Should Know About Alcohol Interlocks in Victoria

If you were convicted of drink driving and want a driver licence after your disqualification ends, you might be required to use an interlock

An alcohol interlock is essentially a breath test that is wired to the ignition of your vehicle. When it is in place, your car, truck, or motorcycle will not start unless you submit a breath sample that is free of alcohol. You submit the breath sample by blowing into a tube that is connected to the interlock device.

Alcohol interlocks are often required for drivers who want to be relicensed after being convicted of a drink driving offence. This article will help you understand when they are required in Victoria.

Who must use an ignition interlock?

If you do not drive, you do not need an ignition interlock. If you want to be relicensed after finishing your disqualification period after a drink driving conviction, you might be required to use an ignition interlock as a condition of regaining your licence.

An interlock condition is imposed by the Magistrate’s Court at the time you are sentenced. In some cases, the alcohol interlock is mandatory. In other cases, the Magistrate can impose an interlock condition in his or her discretion.

First offence

Following conviction of a first drink driving offence, the use of an alcohol interlock for at least six months is a mandatory condition of relicensing if:

  • You are a full licence holder, at least 26 years old, and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.15 percent or higher.
  • You are under the age of 26 or have a probationary licence and your BAC was 0.07 or higher.
  • You were convicted of a drink driving offence that was not based on a BAC. Examples include driving under the influence (DUI) or refusing to take a chemical test.

The use of an alcohol interlock for at least six months can be imposed as a relicensing condition in the Magistrate’s discretion if you are a full licence holder, at least 26 years old, and your BAC was less than 0.15.

Second offence

Following conviction of a second drink driving offence, the use of an ignition interlock for at least 12 months is a mandatory condition of relicensing if your BAC was under 0.15. The use of an ignition interlock for at least 4 years is a mandatory condition of relicensing if your BAC was 0.15 or higher or if you were convicted of a drink driving offence that was not based on a BAC.

Third or subsequent offence

Following conviction of a third or subsequent drink driving offence, the use of an ignition interlock for at least 4 years is a mandatory condition of relicensing regardless of your BAC.

The law may soon change

Proposed legislation, if enacted, will require all persons in Victoria convicted of driving with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.07 to obtain an interlock as a condition of relicensing.

When can an interlock be removed?

A few weeks before your interlock period ends, you will need to schedule a hearing with the Magistrate to request a removal order. You will need to supply the Magistrate with an alcohol assessment to convince the Magistrate that you no longer need the interlock. You will also need to provide a report from the interlock provider showing that you did not try to defeat the interlock and did not repeatedly fail to start your car due to alcohol consumption.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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