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FAQ - SA

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 monthly - this allows for inspection of the device and for user data to be downloaded
• Ensure that an interlock is installed in at least one vehicle
• 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.
• Display P plates on your nominated vehicle when you are driving
• When driving, carry with you a certificate issued by your service agents certifying that the alcohol interlock was properly functioning when last examined. If requested by a police officer you must provide it.
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 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.
Have there been any recent changes to drink-driving laws?
In 2009 the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Scheme was introduced in South Australia. The program will apply to drivers who have been found guilty of high level or repeat offences.
Who should I contact about the South Australian Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Scheme (SA MAIS)?
The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) can be contacted either by phone 1300 933 240 or ONLINE
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 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 below 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 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
Initial Test fail
High BAC detected
Rolling/Random Re-Test Violation
Skipped Rolling/Random Retest
Circumvention/tampering
Battery Disconnection
Violation Limit
5
3
1
1
1
20 minutes
Caused by
0.02 BAC or higher in one service period
0.05 BAC or higher detected
0.020 BAC or higher on rolling/random re-test
Failing to provide rolling/random re-test within 5 minutes
Starting or bypassing 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?
The mandatory period may be extended if the device records more than 1 violation during the last three months on the program. The program will be extended for successive periods of three months until a driver can show a clean report. This is to show that drivers have taken real steps to separate their drinking from their driving.

Any instance of circumvention or tampering will result in an extension of the program length.
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 from 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 Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.
What is the random/rolling re-test schedule in South Australia?
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?
Participation is for a period equal to the overall period of loss of licence resulting from serious drink driving to a maximum of 3 years. An alcohol dependant Participant will not be issued with an unconditional licence until they are no longer dependant. The final three months of the program will be monitored.
How do I complete the Interlock Program and remove the ‘Interlock’ condition from my licence?

If the device records no BAC violations in the final 3 months of the program, your interlock device can be removed. If the device records one BAC violation you may still be eligible for removal of interlock depending on approval from the registrar. If 2 or more BAC violations are detected the interlock device will not be removed. You will be informed of the expected length the program will be extended for.

How do I get the Interlock Device removed?

If in the first 2 months of your monitored period you have no violations recorded, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure will send you a letter notifying you that you may book a removal date after your final service. If, on the date of the removal, you have no new recorded violations, the removal will take place. If you have 2 or more recorded violations the removal will not take place.

Can the 30-day servicing period be extended?

The servicing period may be extended to two months if no violations have been recorded in the previous two months. If violations are recorded in this extended service period, the servicing period will be reverted to 30 days. The service period extension is not available in the final 3 months of the program.

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

• Centrelink Health Care Card

• 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?
More information can be found at the DPTI website.

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