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FAQ - ACT

What are the basic rules and guidelines under the program?
The following main rules apply:
o   You must have a BAC of zero at all times while driving
o   Only drive your nominated vehicle which is fitted with an approved Alcohol Interlock Device
o   Take all breath tests the alcohol interlock requests
o   Ensure that your interlock is serviced every 30 days or as required under the program
o   Only drive the vehicle if you have personally provided the breath sample required by the interlock
o   Do not drive any motor vehicle if you know that the interlock is not working properly, or has been circumvented or interfered with
o   Do not tamper with the device.
  • You must have a BAC of zero at all times while driving
  • Only drive your nominated vehicle which is fitted with an approved Alcohol Interlock Device
  • Take all breath tests the alcohol interlock requests
  • Ensure that your interlock is serviced every 30 days or as required under the program
  • Only drive the vehicle if you have personally provided the breath sample required by the interlock
  • Do not drive any motor vehicle if you know that the interlock is not working properly, or has been circumvented or interfered with
  • Do not tamper with the device.
What is my legal blood alcohol limit when driving?
You must have Zero alcohol in your system while driving (BAC 0.00). Because Alcohol Interlock Devices can detect small trace amounts of alcohol from other products, the effective limit required to operate your vehicle is BAC < 0.020. However, if a police breath test finds any amount of alcohol in your system while driving, this is considered a serious offence.
Who should I contact about the ACT Alcohol Ignition Program?
You can contact the ACT Road Transport Authority: Ph: 13 22 81 [ Online ]
Have there been any recent changes to drink-driving laws?
ACT’s Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program commenced on 17th of June 2014. High range and repeat offenders will be required to install an interlock device in their vehicles as part of re-licencing. Lower risk drink driving offenders will have the option of participating in the interlock program during their driving disqualification period and will also be required to demonstrate a period of clean driving before they can exit the interlock program.
What is the difference between mandatory and voluntary Participants?
Mandatory: From 17 June 2014 if you have been found guilty of drink driving with a BAC of 0.15 or more, refused to provide a sample, or are a repeat offender, then you will be subject to an Interlock condition when you are re-licensed.

Voluntary: If you have been convicted of a drink driving offence but don’t meet the conditions for mandatory participation, you may enter the program voluntarily. This is advantageous if you need to drive during your disqualification period.
How do I nominate a vehicle to install the interlock in?
You will have to complete the Application for a Probationary Licence with an Alcohol Interlock Condition form and present this to RTA. When the nominated vehicle has more than one registered operator, all registered operators must sign the form.
What happens if I don’t follow the rules of the program?
When you do not follow the program rules this is considered a violation. Violations will be recorded in your user data, and result in your program being extended. If a certain amount of violations are recorded, the device will request an unscheduled service within 7 days (see violation limits). Some violations can result in legal action, such as driving a vehicle without an approved Alcohol Interlock Device installed or being caught drink driving by police.
What is considered a violation?

Violations include:

  • Any breach of program rules (See Q. 1 for a list of basic rules and guidelines)
  • Failing or missing requested breath tests:
    • Providing a BAC sample of 0.020 or more is considered a violation
    • Providing more than 1 BAC sample under 0.020 but over 0.000 is considered a violation
    • If you fail or miss a random/rolling retest (BAC recorded above 0.020) this is considered a violation. Warning lights and a horn alarm will sound once this happens. To stop the alarm you must retest successfully in the next 10 minutes.
  • Any tampering with or circumvention of the Alcohol Interlock Device is considered a violation:
    • Circumvention is when you drive a vehicle without first providing a breath sample. This is a serious violation.
    • If your car battery is disconnected for 20 minutes or more this can record as a violation. When doing work on your car make sure that the mechanic is aware of this.
What amount of violations will cause an early unscheduled service (violation limit)?
Type of Violation
Rolling/Random Re-Test Violation
Skipped Rolling/Random Retest
Circumvention
Battery Disconnection
Violation Limit
1
1
1
20 minutes
Caused by
0.020 BAC on rolling re-test
Failing to provide test within 5 minutes
Starting or by-passing device without taking a test
Recorded power disconnection of 20 minutes or more.
Once violation limits have been reached, the unit will display a 7 day count down. You must return for an unscheduled service within the 7 day period or the device will permanently lock and you will be required to either tow your vehicle or obtain an unlock code from Smart Start. A maximum of 2 unlock codes can be issued per service period.

You will need to contact head office to be issued with an unlock code (1300 256 900).
What sort of violations will cause my program to be extended?
To complete the program successfully all the rules must be followed in the final 3 months of the program.  If violations occur in the final 3 months of the interlock period, the interlock period will be extended.

See Q above for a list of violations.
How can I avoid violations?
  • Only drive with zero BAC
  • Never use the Alcohol Interlock Device as a personal breath tester. Failed tests will be recorded and may be considered violations
  • Consider purchasing a personal breath tester. This will allow you to check your Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) before attempting to drive. If you do opt for a personal breath tester, ensure that it is regularly sent for calibration to ensure accuracy
  • The Alcohol Interlock Device will continue to request tests randomly so long as the vehicle is running. Even if you have arrived at your destination, if the device asks for a breath sample you must provide it. Turning off the vehicle will be considered a refused breath test and recorded as a violation. Do not leave your car running and unattended as you may miss a breath test and record a violation
  • Avoid consuming food and drinks (apart from water) for 10 minutes prior to a breath test and at all times while driving. Before giving a breath sample, drinking water will help to remove trace amounts of alcohol in your mouth
Can I contest recorded violations?
If you would like to dispute a violation, you should take note of the circumstances and discuss it with the Road Transport Authority.
What is the random/rolling re-test schedule in ACT?
After you pass the initial test and the engine starts running, the device will continue to request breath samples randomly. The first random retest will occur between 5 – 15 minutes after starting the engine. After this the device will continue to request retests between 15 – 60 minutes after the previous random retest has been passed. You will have 5 minutes to safely provide a breath sample after the device requests one.
How long do I need to participate in the program for?
The interlock period will end 6 months from the date the condition is imposed OR at the end of your disqualification period, whichever is later.

If the final 3 months of the program are free of breaches the interlock condition can be removed from the probationary licence. If breaches of the interlock conditions occur in the final 3 months of the interlock period, the interlock period will be extended.
How do I complete the Interlock Program and remove the ‘Interlock’ condition from my licence?

If the final 3 months of the program are free of breaches, the interlock condition can be removed from the licence.
The Road Transport Authority will remind you when the final 3 months of your interlock period is approaching, and of the compliance requirements you need to meet.
The RTA's decision to remove the "I" condition will be based on reports of your compliance with the interlock program, and any other relevant information available.

How do I get the Interlock Device removed?

Once you have successfully completed the program and received your full licence, you can book an appointment at one of our Service Centres to have your Interlock Device removed.

Can someone else attend the interlock servicing in my place?

Another person can attend the scheduled service in your place, however you must attend the installation in person.

Can the 30-day servicing period be extended?

Typically no. If you cannot present your vehicle for a scheduled service for any reason, you must arrange an alternative servicing date before your current period expires.

What if I am transferring to Tasmania with an interstate interlock condition licence?

If you wish to convert your interstate interlock licence to a Tasmanian licence, you will be required to participate in the ACT interlock program. The length you will be required to participate for will depend on the specifics of when your interstate interlock licence condition was imposed, and the length of your interstate interlock period.

Am I eligible for a discount?

Participants with the following cards are entitled to a discount on the installation and monthly lease costs.

• Centrelink Health Care Card

• Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card

• Department of Veterans’ Affairs Pensioner Concession Card

• Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card

Where can I find more information?
A comprehensive Q&A can be found HERE
More information can be found on the ACT Government website

For after-hours support please call 1300 256 900 option 2.