Tasmania's Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program (MAIP) applies to drink driving offenders as a condition of having their drivers licence re-instated. The offender will be required to enter into the alcohol interlock program if they are convicted of any of the following offences:
- A drink driving offence of 0.015 % BAC or above
- Two or more drink driving offences within a five year period
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Failing to provide a breath or blood sample for analysis upon request from the relevant authority.
The alcohol interlock program also known as MAIP or Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program commenced in Tasmania on 31 July 2013 to protect the general public by ensuring program participants can only drive with a zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). The program was introduced to combat statistics published by DIER which stated that between 2007 and 2011, 55 fatalities and 267 serious injuries occurred as a direct result of drink driving.
The approximate cost of the program is between $3,000-$3,500 and the participant is required to cover all costing related to the program, including:
- Monthly servicing
- Un-schedule servicing
- Transfer from one vehicle to another
Further information can be found in the FAQ section below.
Program Violation Chart
|Type of Violation||Violation Limit||Violation trigger Point|
|Initial Test violation||5||LOW BAC on attempted start|
|Initial Test violation||3||HI BAC on attempted start|
|Rolling Re-Test Violation||1||HI or LOW BAC on rolling re-test|
|Skipped Rolling Retest||1||Failing to provide test within 5 minutes|
|Circumvention||1||Starting or by-passing device without taking a test|
|Combination||5||Combination of initial test violations HI or LOW and Skipped rolling re-tests|
*Once violation limits have been reached the unit will display 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 require an unlock code. A maximum of 2 unlock codes can be issued per service period. The vehicle will need to be towed after that.
You will need to contact head office for issue of the unlock code.
Random Re-Test Schedule
- you will be required to provide a breath sample in the first 3 to 5 minutes of the vehicle starting
- you will be required to provide subsequent samples at random times ranging from 15 to 60 minutes after the first Re-test
- You are required to provide a breath sample every time the device requests a test, even if you have reached your destination and you turn the vehicle off.
Frequently asked questions about Alcohol Interlocks Tasmania
Q: What is an alcohol ignition interlock?
An alcohol interlock is a breath-testing device that is connected to a vehicle's ignition and stops a driver starting a vehicle (a "Lockout") if they have been drinking alcohol. The driver must record a zero BAC on their breath test to start the vehicle, and also perform random breath tests during the journey.
Q: Why are alcohol interlocks being introduced?
Drink driving is a major factor in fatalities and serious injuries on Tasmanian roads. Between 2007 and 2011, 55 fatalities and 267 serious injuries occurred where alcohol was identified as a crash factor.
An alcohol interlock stops a vehicle from being started if the driver has been drinking any alcohol and is effective in preventing further drink driving offences and alcohol-related crashes while installed. Research has further shown that they should not be removed unless drink drivers can "Demonstrate" they can separate their drinking from their driving.
Q: Who will the program apply to?
You will be required to participate in the program if you are convicted of any of the following offences:
- a drink driving offence recording a BAC of 0.15 or more;
- two or more drink driving offences in a five year period;
- driving under the influence of liquor; and
- failing to provide a breath/blood specimen for analysis.
Q: Yes, the program will apply to me, what will I need to do?
The Department of State Growth will send you program information and application forms before your disqualification period ends. Before you can drive you will need to:
- Complete the program application form and enter into a contract with an alcohol interlock supplier to have an alcohol interlock installed in a vehicle and regularly serviced. Please see the details under 'Who are the interlock suppliers?' below.
- The alcohol interlock supplier will advise the Department of State Growth which vehicle nominated vehicle(s) you will be driving under the program.
- Take the program application form, endorsed by the alcohol interlock supplier, to Service Tasmania and apply for a new licence. Your new licence will show an 'I' (an 'I' in "I Condition" requiring an 'alcohol interlock') on it.
Q: Who are the interlock suppliers?
Under the program you must not drive a vehicle unless it has an interlock fitted and regularly serviced by an alcohol interlock supplier approved by the Department of State Growth (except if a work exemption is approved)
Smart Start Interlocks
Phone: 1300 256 900
Approved interlocks for the program can only be obtained from these suppliers. You cannot buy and install your own interlock.
Q: Will any exemptions be available?
There are exemptions available from participation (either wholly or in part) in the program. Exemption application fees will apply. For more details see Exemptions
If you are awarded an exemption you will still need to have a Zero BAC while driving, and abide by any other conditions imposed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.
Q: Where will I go to get my interlock installed?
You will need to contact one or more of the approved alcohol interlock suppliers to find an installer in the most convenient location for you. Alcohol interlock service providers have installers at service centres within a reasonable driving distance of all participants including the East Coast and North-West Coast of Tasmania (typically within 150 km).
Q: What will the costs be?
The cost of the program is expected to be approximately $3000-3500. Costs will be higher for participants who have lockouts or commit other offences whilst on the program.
If you committed the offence that triggered the requirement to have an Interlock System installed prior to 31 July 2013 there is a fee waive in place.
For offences committed after 31 July 2013 you will have to pay for all costs relating to the program. This will include program administration fees, installation, rental, servicing and removal costs of the alcohol interlock. Normal driver licensing fees will also apply.
Program entry, exit and servicing fees fees will be minimised with all other costs smoothed over a minimum 15 month period and collected by the alcohol interlock supplier. You will have to enter into a service agreement with an interlock supplier directly and this will influence the fees ultimately charged.
Q: Will any discounts be available?
If you hold a valid Health Care Card issued by the Australian Government you may be eligible for a discount of up to 35 percent for costs relating to program administration and the installation, rental, servicing and removal of an alcohol interlock.
Q: How long will I have to be part of the program?
You will need to have an alcohol interlock installed in any vehicle you drive for a minimum period of 15 months (the "I Condition Period").
Q: What is the "I Condition Period"?
The "I Condition Period" starts on the day you are issued with a driver's licence with an "I Condition" and comprises two stages:
- A "Learning Period" of 270 days (nine months), followed by
- A "Demonstration Period" of minimum 180 days (six months).
You will be advised by the Department of State Growth when you have completed the program and the "I Condition" has been revoked.
Q: Will I have to have the interlock serviced?
Yes. As part of the interlock agreement with your chosen alcohol interlock supplier, regular scheduled servicing will be required. You will be required to service the alcohol interlock device every 30 days at service centres established around Tasmania. If you do not attend a scheduled service of your interlock device it will permanently Lockout the vehicle.
You will be required to attend servicing in person to receive a "Performance Report" including the number of "Lockouts" recorded during the last service period.
After the initial 30 day service period, if you do not record any "Lockouts" in any service period, you may be eligible for a 90 day service period for the next service period.
Q: Can someone else drive the vehicle and attend an interlock servicing?
Yes. However, if you do not attend the service in person the current service period will not count towards the "I Condition Period".
If you cannot attend an interlock service in person for any reason, such as travel or holidays, you must arrange for an alternative servicing date prior to the expiration of your current service period.
If you are unwell and cannot attend a service in person you should obtain a medical certificate and arrange for that to be presented at the next servicing of your alcohol interlock device. If the period of the medical certificate spans one or more service periods the service period (s) will not count towards your "I Condition Period".
Q: How will I complete the program?
To complete the program, after you have commenced the "Demonstration Period" an alcohol interlock installed in any nominated vehicle must record zero "Lockouts" in the last 180 days prior to servicing.
Recording zero "Lockouts" in the last 180 days prior to your servicing means you have demonstrated that you can separate your drinking from your driving without the need for an alcohol interlock to be installed in any vehicle you drive. Please see What is an alcohol ignition interlock? above for more information about alcohol interlocks and "lockouts".
During the "I Condition" period Department of State Growth will regularly advise you of your overall progress towards completing the program.
If you are unable to separate your drinking from your driving you will continue to be required to have an alcohol interlock fitted to any vehicle you drive.
You will need to pay additional monthly program administration fees and interlock rental and servicing costs in accordance with your agreement with the alcohol interlock supplier
Q: How do I remove the interlock?
You will be advised by the Department of State Growth when you have completed the program and the steps to obtaining a new licence without the I condition.
Q: What happens if I remove my interlock device early or without approval?
The Registrar receives electronic notification whenever an interlock device is removed from a vehicle.
Should you remove your interlock device prior to the end of your 15 months program and without the Registar’s approval your driver licence will be suspended and the time spent without an interlock in your vehicle will be added to your 15 month program.
Q: What circumstances do not count towards the "I Condition Period"?
If you lose your licence or the registration of a nominated vehicle lapses for any reason longer than 14 days, any suspension or cancellation period will not count towards the "I Condition Period". If you do not attend the service in person, the current service period will not count towards the "I Condition Period".
Other circumstances where you would be required to restart the "I Condition Period" (at the "Learning Period") of the "I Condition" include:
- you attempt to drive or succeed in driving your nominated vehicle without first providing a breath sample;
- you drove your nominated vehicle when you knew, or ought reasonably to have known, the vehicle's Approved Interlock was not operating properly;
- your nominated vehicle interlock has been tampered or interfered with; and
- you are convicted of driving a vehicle without an Approved Interlock installed in breach of the "I Condition" on their licence.
The alcohol interlocks that are approved for use in the program incorporate a range of features to reduce the possibility of anyone 'cheating' or circumventing the alcohol interlock. An Approved Interlock's internal memory records the number of breath tests conducted, the results of all breath tests, and so on.
Interlock suppliers are trained to inspect the interlock and associated vehicle wiring to identify any attempts to tamper with the operation of the interlock. Any suspected cases of tampering will be reported to the Department of State Growth by the interlock suppliers.
Q: What restrictions will apply to me when in the program?
If you intend to drive while on the interlock program the following restrictions will apply:
- you must hold a valid licence that has an 'I' (for interlock) on it;
- only drive a vehicle that has been fitted with an Approved Interlock;
- the interlock must be supplied by one of the interlock suppliers listed on this website;
- the vehicle details must be given to the Department of State Growth by an approved interlock supplier; and
- you must have zero alcohol in your system at all times when driving.
Q: What is a 'valid' licence?
A valid licence is one which is not cancelled, suspended or expired and the holder of the licence has not been disqualified by order of an Australian court from holding or obtaining a driver licence.
Q: Can I choose not to install an interlock?
To legally drive, you must fit an alcohol interlock from an approved supplier to any vehicles you drive (except if a work exemption is approved) or have been granted an exemption. See Exemptions
Q: What penalties will apply for not following the rules of the program?
If you choose not to obtain a driver licence after your disqualification period ends and you drive unlicensed you may face a heavy fine and a further disqualification period.
Under the "I Condition" you must not drive a vehicle with a BAC greater than zero and if you are convicted of any alcohol-related offence you will need to start the program again.
If you lose your licence or the registration of a nominated vehicle lapses for any reason for longer than 14 days you will have the "I Condition Period" extended by the length of expiry or suspension period.
If you have a program exemption, you must:
- obey all conditions stated on the exemption certificate at all times;
- produce the exemption certificate for inspection when requested by a police officer; and
- notify the Department of State Growth in writing of any changes to your personal situation that may affect your exemption within 14 days of the change occurring.
Q: How will I nominate a vehicle to install the interlock in?
The alcohol interlock supplier will advise the Department of State Growth which vehicle nominated vehicle(s) you will be driving under the program.
Q: Can I drive a vehicle that already has an interlock installed?
If you wish to drive a vehicle that already has an approved interlock installed, you will need to contact the supplier who originally installed the interlock and enter into an agreement with them. You will also need to give that supplier a completed program application form.
Q: Why will I need to nominate vehicles?
You will need to nominate vehicles that you wish to drive with an alcohol interlock, complete a program application form and provide these details to the interlock supplier. This is so that both the supplier and the Department of State Growth can track the use of the vehicle and the interlock, and make sure you fulfill the requirements of the program.
Q: I drive a company vehicle and will have to go on the program - what will I do?
You may seek an exemption from the requirement to have an alcohol interlock installed in you company vehicle if you have an alcohol interlock installed in another nominated vehicle. The exemption only applies if you are driving a vehicle to or from work, or for the purposes of your employment.
If you only drive a company vehicle you will need to gain your employer's permission for an interlock to be installed in the vehicle so that you can legally drive that vehicle. You will need to arrange to have an interlock installed in this vehicle by an interlock supplier and complete the program application form, have it signed by your employer and give the form to your chosen interlock supplier.
Q: What if my employment does not permit me to maintain the 30 day servicing period?
If you are subject to the MAIP but cannot maintain the 30 day servicing period due to employment (ie: you work on a fly-in, fly-out roster) you may apply in writing to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles for an extended servicing period. Evidence of your employment and roster must be provided with this application.
Q: Can I install my own interlock?
No. You will need to contact an approved alcohol interlock supplier to organise the installation of an Approved Interlock.
Q: Can interlocks be fitted to any vehicle?
Interlocks can be fitted to most vehicles with an ignition; this includes cars, trucks and motorcycles.
Q: Can other people who are not part of the program drive a vehicle fitted with an interlock?
Yes. A vehicle with an interlock fitted may be driven by other drivers, such as family members. These drivers will also need to provide a breath sample in order to start the vehicle.
Regardless of whether these drivers are subject to the general alcohol limit (under 0.05 BAC) they will be required to drive with no alcohol in their system (0.00 BAC) in order to start and drive the vehicle. The results of their breath samples will be recorded on your interlock history record.
Q: Is it possible to bypass or tamper with the interlock?
There are a number of measures in place to ensure that the system cannot be bypassed by having another person start the vehicle for the interlock driver.
- additional retesting required after the vehicle has been started and the person has been driving for a few minutes
- a certain volume of breath needed to pass the breath test (so children cannot provide a breath sample)
- training required for all those nominated people who will be using the vehicle.
These measures are in place to ensure that the interlock driver is meeting the requirements of the program.
Q: What is the alcohol limit I will need to have while driving?
If you are in the interlock program you must have no alcohol in your system (0.00 BAC) before you start the vehicle and during driving. You will be required to take additional breath-tests while driving.
Q: What happens if I fail the breath test when using the interlock?
If the interlock registers alcohol in your breath it records a 'fail' and the ignition is locked - a "Lockout". You will be able to do another breath test after a short period of time.
Every time the interlock registers alcohol in your breath it registers a 'fail'. If you record too many failed breath tests within a scheduled service period you will be permanently locked out of the ignition and you will not be able to start your vehicle. You may require your service provider to come to your location and reset the interlock which may involve a delay and additional servicing fees.
Q: Are interlocks reliable?
Interlock technology has improved considerably since it first became available over 30 years ago and is now considered to be reliable and accurate.
Q: Can more than one driver select the same vehicle to drive as part of the program?
More than one person can nominate the same vehicle to have an alcohol interlock installed under the program.
Both persons will need to ensure the installed alcohol interlock can differentiate between interlock program drivers and pay program administration, installation, rental, servicing and removal costs.
Q: What rules will apply when more than one driver uses the same interlock?
The Department of State Growth must be aware of which driver is using the interlock at any point in time. This is achieved through technology available on the interlock e.g. a pin code or camera.
Q: Do other Australian jurisdictions have interlock programs?
Yes. Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and the Northern Territory all have interlock programs. The ACT and Western Australia have indicated that they intend to introduce an alcohol interlock program.
Q: What if I am transferring to Tasmania with an interstate I condition licence?
If you are transferring to Tasmania with an active I condition licence from another jurisdiction you will be issued a Tasmanian I condition licence in the Learning Period. This means you are subject to the full 15 month requirement of the program.
Applications can then be made to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles for recognition of time already spent on the I condition in the original jurisdiction. The maximum time that will be recognised on an interstate licence is 6 months.
Q: What if I am transferring interstate with a Tasmanian I condition licence?
If you are moving to another jurisdiction and holds an active Tasmanian I condition licence you will need to contact the licensing authority in your new jurisdiction to find out what you need to do to be issued a licence there.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact your local service agent or call 1300 256 900.