New South Wales has followed suit with Victoria in increasing sanctions imposed on its drink-drivers.

On and from 1 February 2015, serious and repeat drink-drivers in New South Wales face the imposition of alcohol interlock conditions on their licence following the usual period of licence disqualification.


An alcohol interlock device is a breath-testing device that prevents a motor vehicle from being started unless the driver of the vehicle returns a zero Blood Alcohol Concentration reading.

The period imposed for the interlock licence condition will vary depending upon the circumstances of the particular case, however, the absolute minimum period will be 12 months.

Unlike in Victoria, the Court will have a discretion to exempt a relevant drink-driver from the interlock licence condition, however, it can only do so “in exceptional circumstances.”

The cost to an offender of installing the device, having it serviced, maintained and removed can be quite onerous, estimated at $2,000.00 for a 12 month period.

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) will monitor those subject to alcohol interlock conditions by way of the data collected from the alcohol interlock device. Depending upon the drink-driver’s performance, at the expiry of the interlock period, the RMS may:

  • Grant an unrestricted or provisional licence;
  • Require a fitness to drive medical assessment; and
  • Extend the interlock period.

For experienced legal advice on drink-driving or any other traffic or criminal matter, contact the solicitors at Burt & Hanke Legal in Albury.

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