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What are the basic rules and guidelines under the program?

Your interlock licence conditions are that 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 when required under your program. Servicing periods will start at 1 month, but can be extended
  • Attend all medical consultations 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
  • Do not drive a vehicle which is loaded with dangerous goods that must be placarded under the Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Regulation 2014
  • Cannot refuse to allow a police officer to inspect the interlock
What is my legal blood alcohol limit when driving?
You must have Zero alcohol in your system while driving (BAC 0.000). Because Alcohol Interlock Devices can detect 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 an offence.
Who should I contact about the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program (MAIP)?
The MAIP is managed by Transport for NSW (TfNSW). You can contact them via their website  or phone 13 22 13
Have there been any recent updates to the drink driving laws?
As of the 1st February 2015, people convicted of serious or repeat drink driving offences face stricter penalties, including the requirement to install an Alcohol Interlock Device in their vehicle.
What happens if I don’t follow the rules of the program?
When you do not follow the program rules this is called a violation. Violations will be recorded in your user data and may 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 Q on 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
What is considered a violation?

Violations include:

  • Failing or missing requested breath tests:
    • After failing an initial breath test (BAC recorded above 0.02) you will be locked out for 5 minute, after which you have 60 minutes to retest successfully. Failing or missing this retest is considered a violation
    • If you fail or miss a random/rolling retest (BAC recorded above 0.02) 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. If you fail or miss the retest this is considered a violation and the alarm will continue until the engine is turned off.
  • 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.
  • Missing a scheduled service.
What amount of violations will cause an early unscheduled service (violation limit)?
Type of Violation
Initial Test Violation
Initial Test Violation
Random/Rolling Re-Test Violation
Skipped Rolling Retest
Battery Disconnection
Violation Limit
Caused by
0.020 - .049 BAC on attempted start
0.050 or greater on attempted start
0.020 BAC or greater on rolling re-test
Failing to provide test within 10 minutes
Starting or by-passing device without taking a test
Disconnecting the battery for 20 minutes or more
Combination of initial test violations to a total of 6
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?
Even low level failed breath tests can result in TfNSW requiring that you undergo a Fitness to Drive Assessment with a doctor before your interlock condition can be removed from your licence. TfNSW will review your interlock data and the results of your assessment, and may decide to extend your interlock period for a further 6 months.

To complete the program successfully, you will need to record no violations in your final 5 months of the program. Even a single violation recorded can cause your program to be extended for another 5 months. 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 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?
TfNSW is the body responsible for assessing your interlock data and assessment results. If you would like to dispute a violation, keep a record of this so that you can contest it with TfNSW.
How long do I need to participate in the program for?
The length that you will need to drive with an alcohol interlock device will vary based on your individual program, but will be a minimum of 12 months. To remove the interlock condition do not record any violations in the last 6 months of your interlock period. Violations may result in a Fitness to Drive assessment and your Interlock condition period being extended.
How can I get my full licence back?
TfNSW will advise you when your Interlock program has been completed. After this you may go to a Service NSW centre or your local registry to be reissued your licence with the Interlock condition removed.
How do I get the Interlock Device removed?

After you have successfully completed your program and received your full licence without an Interlock condition, you can book an appointment at one of our Service Centres to have your Interlock Device removed.

What if I remove the Interlock Device early or without approval?

It is possible to have your Interlock Device removed early without completing your interlock program. If you wish to take this option, you can book a removal appointment at your service centre and will be asked to complete an Interlock Removal Form. Keep in mind that the interlock condition will not be removed from your licence, and you will not be able to drive any car without an Interlock Device installed.

Can someone else attend the interlock servicing in my place?

Although it is expected that you attend scheduled services in person every period, if this is not practical, there will be no sanctions if someone else attends in your place.

Can the 30-day servicing period be extended?

After your first month, your servicing period may be extended to 60 days. If you live in a very remote area or perform very well on the program with no violations, this may be extended to 90 days.

What happens when I move states?

If you are moving from NSW to another State or Territory, you will be withdrawing from the NSW Alcohol Interlock Program and have your licence disqualified. Depending of the State or Territory you are moving to, you may or may not be able to get a licence. Discuss your options with the State or Territory to which you are moving.

If you are moving to NSW and wish to convert your interstate interlock licence, you will still have an interlock condition on your new licence. To remove this condition, you will have to participate in the NSW Alcohol Interlock Program.

What is the random/rolling re-test schedule in NSW?

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 be given 10 minutes to safely provide a breath sample after each random/rolling retest is requested.

Am I eligible for a discount?

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

  • Pensioner Concession Card – Full rate pension recipients only

  • Health Care Card – Low income only

  • Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card endorsed as:

    - TPI (totally and permanently incapacitated)

    - EDA (extreme disablement adjustment)

    - War widow or war widower.

Where can I find more information?
The TfNSW website has further information

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