On 6 August 2010, new alcohol ignition interlock laws were introduced into Queensland. If you have been charged with, or convicted of, a drink driving offence, it is important that you understand how these new laws may impact you.
What is an interlock device?
An alcohol ignition interlock is a device that is attached to the ignition systems of vehicles. Before a person can start the vehicle, they must blow into the device which will then record the alcohol concentration in that person’s breath. If the alcohol concentration exceeds the prescribed alcohol limit, the vehicle will not start.
After a period of time, a further attempt can be made but for as long as the recorded alcohol concentration exceeds the prescribed limit, the vehicle will not start.
Who can be required to use an interlock device?
The interlock is a device which is intended to reduce the risk of drink driving. For this reason, people who are considered as being a high risk of drink driving are required to install the device. In practical terms, there are three situations where a person will be required to use an interlock device, and these are when the person is convicted of any of the following offences:
- A high range drink driving offence (over 0.15%), driving under the influence of liquor or failing to provide a breath/blood specimen for analysis;
- Dangerous driving while affected by alcohol; and
- Two or more drink driving offences of any kind within a 5-year period.
Can you refuse to have an interlock device installed?
Yes, however if you do not have the device installed, you will be disqualified from driving for a further two year period, in addition to any earlier disqualification imposed by the court.
There are certain exemptions available which allow you to avoid having the interlock device installed. An example is if you live more than 150km away from the nearest interlock supplier’s place of business.
In addition to the information set out above, there are many factors that you must be aware of regarding interlock devices. If you would like to discuss interlock devices and how they might specifically impact you, please contact us for a no-obligation chat with an experienced lawyer.