In September 2021, the Queensland Government introduced changes to the interlock program, with the changes affecting any person disqualified from driving for a high-risk driving offence, and whose disqualification ends on or after 9 September 2021.

High-Risk Driving Offence

You are considered to have committed a high-risk driving offence if you have been convicted of any of the following:

  • Driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol
  • Driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst over the middle alcohol limit, and the offence was committed on or after 10 September 2021
  • Dangerous driving whilst affected by alcohol
  • Failing to provide a specimen of blood or breath for analysis; or
  • Any two or more drink driving offences within a 5-year period.

In Queensland, the Department of Transport and Main Roads overlooks interlock requirements and compliance with those requirements. The Court does not make any order requiring a convicted offender of participating in the interlock program. However, if an offender fails to comply with interlock requirements, they cannot apply for a new licence at the end of their disqualification and must wait five years before they become eligible again.

Performance-Based Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program

Before 9 September 2021, the Time-Based Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program was in place. This was replaced with the Performance-Based Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program. The major change was the introduction of monitoring of interlock use data by the Department of Transport. The data collected assists the Department of Transport to determine whether a relevant person has complied with their interlock requirements. It will include:

  • Data to confirm whether all required samples have been satisfactorily provided; and
  • Data to confirm whether the driver has returned any positive readings.

The program consists of two parts:

(a) Learning Period (8 months); and
(b) Performance Period (4 months)
The Department will monitor interlock use during the performance period. If the driver fails to comply with any of the program requirements, the four-month performance period resets, and the entire period will be extended. The discretion to extend the duration of an interlock period applies to both the previous time-based program and the new performance-based program.
The interlock provider will provide the Department of Transport with information about whether the driver has satisfactorily attended all scheduled service appointments.

Impact on Restricted Licence Applications

The 2021 changes also saw the offence of mid-range drink driving added to the list of high-risk driving offences. This had a particularly deleterious effect on people charged with the offence of mid-range drink driving who wished to apply for a work licence. As of September 2021, they are required to install an interlock device on the vehicle they intend to drive and participate in the interlock program prior to being granted a work licence.


There are certain grounds for an exemption application, including;

  • The applicant lives more than 150 km away from the closest interlock provider;
  • The applicant has a medical condition affecting their ability to provide a sample of breath;
  • Severe financial hardship

An application for an exemption must be made to the chief executive.
If a driver is subject to an interlock condition, it is an offence for that driver to drive a motor vehicle that is not fitted with an interlock device. This offence attracts a fine and a further period of disqualification.

To the best of our knowledge, the information in this article is correct at the time it was written, however it is subject to change. Every case is different, and this article should not be considered legal advice. Instead, why not get advice tailored to your matter? Call us today for a free consultation.