FAQ - WA
What is the difference between monitored and unmonitored drivers?
Interlock restricted drivers can only drive vehicles fitted with approved interlocks. These drivers have two options:
Option A - Monitored: Participate in the Western Australia Alcohol Interlock Scheme. If you successfully complete the program, the Interlock condition will be removed from your licence.
Option B - Unmonitored: Elect not to participate in the Western Australia Alcohol Interlock Scheme. The interlock condition on your licence will not be removed and you will be considered an interlock restricted driver indefinitely until you complete the monitored program.
What are the basic rules and guidelines under the WA program?
Your interlock licence conditions are that you:
• Can only drive with a valid ‘I’ condition licence. If your driver's licence expires or is suspended while participating, you have breached a requirement of the scheme
• 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 device requests
• Ensure that your alcohol interlock device is serviced when required under the program
• 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 otherwise interfered with
• Do not tamper with the device
For monitored drivers (does not apply to unmonitored drivers)
• You must attend all services in person. On one occasion, another person may present the vehicle in your place
• Do not record 3 or more triggers (see Q: What is considered a trigger/violation) during any one monthly scheduled service period. This will be considered a breach of the scheme and will restart your program
For unmonitored drivers
• You must present the vehicle for inspection and servicing every servicing period (one servicing period must be under 180 days long)
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 WA Alcohol Interlock Scheme?
Have there been any recent updates to the drink driving laws?
From the 24th October 2016, any driver who is convicted of a drink driving offence is known as an ‘alcohol offender’. Upon relicensing, the alcohol offender will not be allowed to drive unless they are using an Alcohol Interlock Device. This condition can only be removed from the licence after successful completion of the Alcohol Interlock Scheme.
How long do I need to participate in the program for?
The minimum length of the restricted driving period will be determined by factors such as the disqualification imposed by the court and the type of licence granted to a person. For regular driver's licence holders, the minimum period is 180 continuous days immediately prior to exiting the scheme.
If the program rules are breached, the program may be extended and additional components such as Alcohol Assessment and Treatment required.
Holders of extraordinary licences may have different requirements for participation in the program. Unless permanently disqualified, an interlock-restricted driver cannot complete the scheme whilst on an extraordinary licence. If you are the holder of an extraordinary licence, contact the Department of Transport on 13 11 56 for more information.
What happens if I don’t follow the rules of the program?
When you do not follow the program rules this is called a trigger or violation. These instances will be recorded in your user data and may result in your program being extended for a further 6 months. 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 trigger/violation?
A trigger occurs when a breath sample is provided with a BAC equal to or greater than 0.020 and prevents the operation of a vehicle. It applies to:
• Breath samples provided to interlock prior to the operation of the vehicle
• Breath samples provided to the interlock during the operation of the vehicle
• Failing to provide a breath sample when requested during the operation of the vehicle
- Any tampering with or circumvention of the Alcohol Interlock Device:
- 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 sort of triggers and violations will cause my program to be extended?
Triggers: If 3 or more triggers (see Q above) are recorded during any one monthly scheduled inspection period, then a requirement of the scheme has been breached. The restricted driving period will be restarted from the date of the last trigger recorded by the interlock.
Violations: Any instance of tampering, circumvention or battery disconnect will cause your program to be extended. Breaching any rules and guidelines also risks a program extension.
You will be notified in writing that you have breached the scheme and your restricted driving period will be extended. You may be required to attend Alcohol Assessment and Treatment.
How can I best avoid triggers and 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 triggers
• 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 trigger. Do not leave your car running and unattended as you may miss a breath test and record a trigger
• 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?
The Department of Transport is responsible for assessing your interlock data and assessment results. If you would like to dispute a violation, keep a record of the event so that you can contest it with the DoT.
What is the random/rolling re-test schedule in WA?
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.
How do I complete the Interlock Program and remove the ‘Interlock’ condition from my licence?
To qualify for completion the following criteria must be met:
• Minimum participation period has been completed
• Any period of disqualification has ended
• Complied with any requirement to attend Alcohol Assessment and Treatment
• Demonstrated the separation of drinking and driving for a continuous period of 180 days (with no breach of program rules recorded) immediately before exiting the Scheme.
Once the above criteria have been met the Department of Transport will:
• Remove the interlock condition from your licence
• Remove the alcohol offender status from your driver's licence register
• Notify you in writing of the successful completion of the Scheme and that you may now have the alcohol interlock removed by an accredited provider
*Requirements may be different for holders of extraordinary licences. Contact the Department of Transport on 13 11 56 for more information.
How do I get the Interlock Device removed?
Once you have been notified in writing of your completion of the scheme and have the ‘I’ condition removed from your licence, you can book an appointment with your nearest service centre to have the 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 vehicle without an Interlock Device installed.
If you wish to complete the scheme and remove the ‘I’ condition from your licence, you will have to restart from the beginning.
Can someone else attend the interlock servicing in my place?
You must attend your scheduled services in person. On ONE single occasion during the scheme, you can have someone else attend the service in your place. If this occurs more than once, a requirement of the scheme has been breached and the program will be extended for a further 180 days.
Can the 30-day servicing period be extended?
Although the servicing period is not typically extended, if you live over 150km away from a service provider, you may be eligible for an exemption from the scheme.
Am I eligible for a discount?
Valid concession card holders are eligible for a discount on the cost of scheduled inspections. The following are accepted:
• Health Care Card – low income only
• Department of Veteran Affairs Gold Cards
• Pension Concession cards including
- Veteran Age
- Service Invalidity
- Disability Support Pension
- Disability Support Pension Spouse
- Disability Support Pension Carer
- MRCA Veteran (Military Rehabilitation and Compensation
Where can I find more information?
For after-hours support please call 1300 256 900 option 2.