Do you have a question about criminal law offences?

IT IS FREE TO ASK
OR
SELECT Y0UR STATE

Criminal Law News VIC

The alcohol interlock penalty in Victoria

What is an alcohol interlock device?

Drivers in Victoria who are convicted of an alcohol-related driving offence face, among other penalties, the possibility that they will be required to install an alcohol interlock device on any vehicles they drive.

The laws that describe the conditions under which a driver must use an alcohol interlock device can be complex and confusing.

This article will help you understand whether you might be required to use an alcohol interlock device if you are at risk of being convicted of driving under the influence or driving with an excessive blood alcohol concentration.

An alcohol interlock device is a breath test that is wired into the ignition of your vehicle. If you want to drive the vehicle, you must blow into a tube that is connected to the device. If the device detects the presence of alcohol, your vehicle will not start. The alcohol interlock device is intended to enforce absolute sobriety of drivers who are required to use it.

Paying the cost of installation, maintenance fees, and the monthly lease fee is the driver’s responsibility. Subsidies are available to some people with low incomes.

When is a driver required to use an alcohol interlock device?

If you do not drive, you do not need an alcohol interlock device. The requirement only applies to individuals who want to drive.

If, as the result of an alcohol-related driving offence, a driver has been disqualified from obtaining a driver licence, that person cannot legally drive without obtaining a Licence Eligibility Order from the Magistrate’s Court. The order granting eligibility for a driver licence may be conditioned on the installation and use of an alcohol interlock device. An “I” appears on your licence if the court imposes that condition. Whether the Magistrate’s Court will impose that condition depends upon the following circumstances:

First offence

No interlock device will be required if your test result was less than 0.07 percent.

If you are 26 years old or older and your test result was at least 0.07 percent but less than 0.15 percent, the court has the discretion to require use of an interlock device for six months. The court also has the discretion to let you drive without an interlock device.

If you are younger than 26 years old or had a provisional licence and your test result was at least 0.07 percent but less than 0.15 percent, the court must require the use of an interlock device for at least 6 months.

If your test result was 0.15 or more, or if you were convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or of refusing a test, the court must require the use of an interlock device for at least 6 months.

Second offence

If your test result was less than 0.15, the court must require the use of an interlock device for at least 12 months.

If your test result was 0.15 or more, or if you were convicted of DUI or of refusing a test, the court must require the use of an interlock device for at least 4 years.

Third offence

The court must require the use of an interlock device for at least 4 years.

When can an alcohol interlock device be removed?

When you reach the end of the period imposed by the Magistrate’s Court for use of the interlock device, you must keep using it until you obtain an order from the Magistrate’s Court that permits the device to be removed. You will need to contact the supplier of the interlock device for a report showing that you complied with all requirements for use of the device and that you did not tamper with the device.

You will also need to obtain an assessment report from the driver education agency. Arrange for a hearing with the Magistrate’s Court and present those documents to the court. If the court is satisfied, it will issue a Removal Order. You then need to have your licence reissued so that the interlock condition will not appear on your licence. When you have a licence that allows you to drive without an interlock device, you can take the Removal Order to the supplier of your device and have it removed from your vehicle.

How can I avoid the alcohol interlock penalty?

If you fit within the categories described above, the only way to avoid the alcohol interlock penalty is to avoid being convicted. If you have been charged with an offence that exposes you to the alcohol interlock requirement, be sure to get legal advice immediately.

We know is all sounds very tough and confusing.  If you or a loved one have been charged for breaching the Drink Driving laws, please feel free to contact our criminal lawyers

Ask a Question - It Is Free