How your alcohol ignition lock works

An alcohol ignition lock (AIL) fits near the driver's seat and is wired to the ignition. The driver must blow into the handset to start the vehicle.

A breath test result below 0.02%

If you record a breath test below 0.02% on your AIL all of the following will apply: 

  • the vehicle can be started within three minutes
  • five to 10 minutes after an initial test has been passed the AIL will require a retest - you must pull over to undertake the test and if your BAC is below 0.02% you can continue to drive
  • 15 to 60 minutes after this the AIL will require a second and subsequent retest
  • if one of the retests records a breath test of 0.02% or higher the AIL will activate alarms - car horn and hazard lights -  until the driver turns off the ignition.

A breath test result of 0.02% or more

If you record a breath test of 0.02% or more on your AIL:

  • your vehicle will not start
  • if your test is below 0.05% - you can take another breath test in five minutes time
  • if your test is above 0.05% - you must wait 30 minutes to do another breath test.

Other drivers can drive a vehicle fitted with an alcohol ignition lock - but they must comply with all of the AIL operating conditions. If they don't comply then the AIL will be disabled and you will have to take it to a supplier for a service.

Regular services for your alcohol ignition lock

Contact your authorised AIL installer to find out who can service your AIL.

You must book your AIL in for a service at the supplier's agent 30 days after the AIL has been installed in your vehicle.

You then need to have your AIL serviced every 60 days if you live within 150km of a service agent.

If you live more than 150km from a service agent, then you must service your AIL every 90 days.

There will be a seven-day grace period from the due date of the scheduled service. If you do not meet this seven-day grace period, your AIL will stop the vehicle from being started.

Servicing your alcohol ignition lock after violating breath limit

If you record a blood alcohol concentration that has stopped the vehicle from starting multiple times, you must have your AIL serviced within seven days. This is called an unscheduled service. If you do not undertake an unscheduled service, the AIL will stop your vehicle from being started again.

Your AIL will need an unscheduled service if you:

  • record 10 failed initial breath tests in a month
  • record five initial breath tests of 0.05% or more in a month
  • record five failed retests while driving in a month
  • do not take a retest on your AIL five times in a month
  • record five retests of 0.05% or higher in a month.

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Last updated: 27 June 2017