The interlock program is designed to reduce drink driving related deaths and injuries on NSW roads. The program makes participants separate drinking and driving. It does this by keeping offenders in the licensing system on a closely monitored basis, with the interlock physically preventing drink driving.
A participant’s breath test results are recorded by the interlock and monitored by Roads and Maritime during the interlock period. This is so Roads and Maritime can be confident that a participant has learnt to separate drinking from driving, and can safely drive without the need for an interlock.
The device is fitted to the vehicle of the participants car at the participants own expense. This can cost in the vicinity of $2500.00 and needs to be calibrated regularly. Each time the driver wants to start the car he must blow into the device. The device will randomly be required to be blown into even when the vehicle is in operation.
The time of disqualification is generally halved and the time that the participant is on the program is often double what the original disqualification period would have been. For example, it is now possible for a high range drink driver to obtain an interlock licence after just six months when previously he would need to be off the road for twelve months.
It is particularly difficult to be granted an exception not to participate. Reasons such as the inability to financially afford the device will not suffice. Only positive proof of a medical condition will assist in making an application to participate.