The Alcohol Interlock Scheme came into force in Western Australia on 24 October 2016 and follows similar schemes in other states. The Alcohol Interlock Scheme applies to ‘alcohol offenders’, being any person who is convicted of an ‘alcohol interlock offence’.
An offender who is subsequently granted a driver’s licence will have conditions attached to their licence their licence and will be deemed to be an ‘interlock-restricted driver’ until the conditions are removed. An interlock-restricted driver may only drive a vehicle fitted with an approved alcohol interlock device.
Alcohol interlocks are devices installed in vehicles that prevent the vehicle from being started unless a breath sample is provided for analysis. The device will prevent the vehicle from being started if it detects a reading equal to or greater than 0.02%. The interlock device also requires randomly timed breath samples to be provided when prompted whilst driving the vehicle.
An ‘alcohol interlock offence’ is defined in reg 3 Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Regulations as:
*Only applies to prior convictions recorded after 24 October 2016
Provisional licences (including EDL or provisional) or learner’s permit are automatically cancelled when convicted and disqualified for an alcohol interlock offence listed above.
Offenders may apply to get their provisional licence back after the disqualification period, or they may apply for an EDL during the disqualification period. If the provisional/extraordinary licence is granted: it will be subject to conditions of the Alcohol Interlock Scheme unless an exemption applies.
The holder of a learner’s permit cannot be subject to the Alcohol Interlock Scheme.
The interlock condition will only be removed from an alcohol offender’s licence when the offender has successfully completed the minimum participation period as well as any mandated assessment and treatment. The minimum participation period varies depending on the circumstances of the alcohol offender.
The offender must also demonstrate “separation of drinking and driving behaviour” for a continuous 180-day period immediately prior to exiting the scheme.
Standard conditions of the Alcohol Interlock Scheme are:
An offender by be exempt from the scheme if:
There are several offences created offence under the scheme. It is an offence to:
The cost of having an alcohol interlock installed is around $1,600. There are concessions available for holders of certain benefit cards.
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