When a court finds you guilty of either a mid-range, high-range, or repeated or related drink driving offences there is now a mandatory scheme requiring the person to enter the Alcohol Interlock Program.
Once your disqualification period ends, a condition of the court order is you are then required to obtain an interlock licence and fit an interlock device to your car. This is at the person’s expense and costs around $2,200 to $2,500 per year.
An interlock device is an electronic breath testing device that is fitted to the ignition system of your car, motorcycle, or heavy vehicle.
During the interlock period, say for a mid-range PCA offence, being the 12 months (for a first offence) that follows your disqualification you must use this device every time you attempt to start your vehicle. The device may also require you to provide a random breath test on a journey. It will also take your photo with an inbuilt camera when you blow into the device.
If the device registers no alcohol, then your car will start. If it detects alcohol, it will not start. Each time you use the device it logs the result. It will also record any attempts to interfere with the device.
A zero-alcohol blood alcohol limit applies to an interlock licence.
The device can be audited by the police to see whether you are complying with the interlock program, to detect whether you have attempted to the start the car while alcohol was in your blood.
The Interlock Licence must be obtained from Traffic for NSW after the completion of your disqualification period.
If you do not complete the conditions of the interlock order, fail to comply, or do not obtain your interlock licence following the period of disqualification you can be disqualified from holding a driver licence for up to 5 years from the date of conviction.
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