Last updated 15 February 2019

An ‘interlock condition’ may be imposed on a person who has been convicted of certain offences related to driving while under the influence of alcohol. An alcohol ignition interlock is a device that when fitted to a motor vehicle prevents the vehicle from being started unless the device is provided with a specimen of a person’s breath containing either no alcohol or less than a particular concentration of alcohol (s 91I Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (Qld) (TORUM Act)).

An interlock condition will apply to people who are convicted of:

  • driving under the influence (0.15% or more)
  • failing to provide a specimen for analysis
  • operating a vehicle dangerously while adversely affected by alcohol
  • committing a second drink driving offence of any kind within five years of conviction for an earlier drink driving offence of any kind
  • driving unlicensed at a time when the offender would have been subject to an interlock condition if they did hold a licence.

The interlock period starts when the period of disqualification for the offence ends. The interlock period will last for whichever of the following happens first:

  • two years has elapsed since the period began
  • one year has elapsed while the person has held a valid licence and had a nominated vehicle fitted with an interlock device or held an interlock exemption.

The person to whom the interlock condition applies must nominate a vehicle to be fitted with an interlock device. If the nominated vehicle is driven by more than one person, then either the interlock device must be able to identify which person is using it with a pin or swipe access or each person must keep an interlock driver record of the approved form.

A person convicted of a relevant offence, as above, may apply to the chief executive for an exemption certificate on the grounds set out in s 91Q of the TORUM Act, which include a person:

  • residing more than 150 km from the nearest interlock installer
  • having a medical condition preventing them from providing a sufficient breath sample to operate an interlock device, which has to be evidenced by a doctor’s certificate
  • suffering ‘severe hardship’, and it is not possible to fit a device to the only available vehicle. This would not include the cost of fitting the device. Severe hardship would be suffered other than by preventing the person from driving to or from work or during work. If you are required to drive multiple vehicles for work or other purposes, each vehicle must be fitted with the interlock device.

It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle that is not fitted with an interlock where the driver is subject to an interlock condition. This offence attracts a fine and a further period of disqualification of either three or six months depending on the person’s traffic history.

There are a number of other offences in the Licensing Regulation where an interlock has been fitted which attract a maximum penalty of 20 penalty units ($2611) for example:

  • failing to use technical ability to identify a driver where the interlock device is fitted
  • failing to produce an interlock driving record within seven days
  • destroying an interlock driving record
  • failing to promptly notify the chief executive of the destruction, loss or theft of an interlock driving record
  • using another person’s identification or allowing another person to use your identification to operate a vehicle fitted with an interlock device.