Alcohol ignition lock order
If you're found guilty of repeat drink driving, you may be given a court order to install an alcohol ignition lock (AIL) in your vehicle.
This will occur after you’ve completed your mandatory licence disqualification period.
You are considered a repeat drink driver if you have at least one prior conviction for drink driving, such as:
- with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15% or greater
- with a medium BAC of 0.08% or greater, but less than 0.15%
- under the influence of alcohol or a drug, or both
- with any BAC range if your subject to a zero alcohol limit
- failing to provide a breath or blood sample for analysis.
The court will decide how long your AIL period will be.
It may be between 6 months to 3 years.
To drive with an AIL during this period, you must apply for an AIL licence.
If you don’t, you will remain disqualified from driving until the end of your AIL period.
If you get suspended on your AIL licence, your AIL period will be extended by this time.
If you're a low income earner or live remote, you may be eligible for a subsidy below.
Low income earner subsidy
The low income earner subsidy applies to the costs of installing, removing and leasing an approved AIL.
You may receive the subsidy if:
- you hold a valid Centrelink Health Care Card, or a Centrelink income statement demonstrating you receive the maximum rate of pension
- you're an Northern Territory (NT) resident
- you have been given a court order in the NT to install an AIL
- the vehicle the AIL will be fitted to is registered in the NT.
If you meet this criteria, fill in the subsidy section on your application for a NT AIL licence.
Remote resident subsidy
You may receive the remote resident subsidy for unscheduled services, if the service provider is more than 150km from:
- Alice Springs
- Tennant Creek.
To find out how much you can claim, read driver and rider licence fees.
To be eligible to apply, you must:
- hold a court order to install an AIL
- have held a driver licence within the last 5 years (not a learner licence)
- complete the drink driver education course relevant to your offences.
If you’re a driver with an H endorsement to drive a taxi or commercial passenger vehicle, you will not be able to keep this endorsement during your AIL period.
How to apply
To apply, follow these steps:
Step 1. Fill in the L7 application for a NT AIL licence and attach:
- evidence of identity and residency
- your Centrelink Health Care Card or income statement - if you're claiming the low income earner subsidy.
Step 2. Submit your application and supporting documents to an MVR office.
You must also pay the fee by EFTPOS, MasterCard, Visa, BasicsCard or cash.
After you apply
Condition (I) will be printed on your licence.
Any vehicle you drive must have an AIL installed.
You must only drive a vehicle that has an AIL device fitted by an authorised supplier.
All costs including installation, lease, service and removal of the AIL is paid by you. This may vary depending on the type of AIL and supplier.
You can choose to fit as many vehicles with an AIL as you want. If you’re eligible for a subsidy, you can only claim it for one vehicle.
If you live in a remote part of the NT, contact a supplier to find out what your options are.
An AIL fits near the driver's seat and is wired to the ignition. The driver must blow into the handset to start the vehicle.
Other drivers can drive a vehicle fitted with an AIL, but they must follow the AIL conditions.
If they don't, the AIL will be disabled and you must take it to a supplier for a service.
How to drive with an AIL
If you record a BAC below 0.02%, your vehicle can be started within 3 minutes.
After 5 to 10 minutes, you must pull over to retake the test. If your BAC is below 0.02%, you can continue to drive.
The AIL will require another 2 retests after 15 to 60 minutes.
If one of these retests records a BAC of 0.02% or more, the AIL will activate your car horn and hazard lights until you turn off the ignition.
BAC of 0.02% or more
If you record a BAC of 0.02% or more, your vehicle will not start.
If your test is:
- below 0.05%, you must wait 5 minutes to do another breath test
- above 0.05%, you must wait 30 minutes to do another breath test.
You must get your AIL serviced 30 days after it has been installed in your vehicle.
After this, you must have your AIL serviced every:
- 60 days if you live within 150km of a service agent
- 90 days if you live more than 150km from a service agent.
For every service due date, there is a 7-day grace period.
If you don't meet this period, your AIL will stop the vehicle from being started.
To find out who can service your AIL, contact your authorised AIL supplier.
If you violate your breath limit
If you record a BAC that has stopped the vehicle from starting multiple times, you must have your AIL serviced within 7 days.
This is called an unscheduled service. If you don't get an unscheduled service, the AIL will stop your vehicle from being started again.
Your AIL must have an unscheduled service if you:
- 10 initial breath tests in a month
- 5 initial breath tests of 0.05% or more in a month
- 5 retests while driving in a month or of 0.05% or higher in a month
- don't take a retest on your AIL 5 times in a month.
If you plan to drive your vehicle interstate with an AIL, you should contact your authorised AIL supplier.
You should do this before you leave to find out where you can get your AIL serviced.
If they don't have an authorised agent to service your AIL interstate, you must consider how you will continue to meet your AIL conditions.
Missing a scheduled or unscheduled AIL service may result in a temporary or permanent lockout to start your vehicle.
If this occurs outside the NT and the supplier's authorised agent is not nearby, you may need to transport your vehicle to the supplier's agent at your expense.
Moving away from the NT
If you move from the NT, your NT AIL licence period may disqualify you from driving elsewhere in Australia and other countries.
You should ask the licensing authority in your new home location if the conditions of your NT AIL licence will be recognised there.
Moving to the NT
If you move to the NT on an interstate AIL licence, you won't be able to transfer your interstate driver's licence.
To legally drive in the NT with your interstate AIL licence for more than 3 months, you must apply for an exemption.
Before you apply, you should ask your licensing authority if the exemption will breach your interstate AIL licence conditions.
How to apply
To apply for an exemption, follow these steps:
Step 1. Fill in the L7 application for a right to drive in the NT on an interstate AIL licence .
Step 2. Submit your application in person to an MVR office.
After you apply
Once you’ve submitted your application, you must allow up to 10 working days for it to be processed.
You will be notified of the outcome by email or mail.
If your exemption is approved, you may drive in the NT while following your interstate AIL licence conditions.
If your interstate licensing authority cancels your driver licence, you must re-apply for one in the NT.
Last updated: 08 September 2022
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