How to avoid having a car interlock device

There are two types of BAC breathalysers you don’t want to get confused: a handheld personal breathalyser and an alcohol ignition interlock device.

It is recommended that the former is used so you don’t need the latter!

BAC refers to a person’s blood alcohol concentration and if you intend to drive, you must be under 0.05 BAC.

How you get to the legal limit is dependent on several factors including how much alcohol you have consumed in a given time period, gender, age, weight, liver health and whether you have eaten beforehand.

Penalties are severe for those caught drink driving. The severity depends on the BAC reading, whether you are a Learner, P-plater or hold a full licence. It is also dependent on whether it’s your first offence and if you are over or under 26 years old.

For drivers over 26 with a full licence who register a BAC reading between 0.050 and 0.069 in Victoria the penalties can be:

* Receive a fine
* Complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
* Your licence or permit cancelled
* You are disqualified from driving for at least 6 months
* Have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months
* Have a zero BAC requirement for a minimum of 3 years

When you get your licence back, the cost of leasing an interlock device for a six-month period is more than $1500.

When an interlock device is installed, the driver needs to pass a breath test before the car will start. If unsuccessful, the car will remain disabled.

In addition, random re-tests are required once the vehicle has started and whilst you are driving to your destination. Therefore, you’d be required to pull over to the side of the road regularly to take a test in the interlock device.

This cost and imposition are not a desired outcome for anyone.

On the other hand, handheld and portable personal breathalysers such as those from Alcosense will help you prevent ever having an interlock device fitted.

You can check your BAC in the cosy comfort of the hotel, club or restaurant and switch to non-alcoholic drinks when you’re close to 0.050. Remember that it can take a while for the alcohol to reach your bloodstream, so check your BAC level 20 minutes after your last alcoholic drink and every 15 minutes or so until it is steady and starting to go down.

Andatech personal breathalysers range in price from $219 to $449 and are rigorously tested to Australian Standards AS3547 for accuracy, quality and durability.

They come with a three-year warranty, which is extendable to a lifetime under the AlcoSense Guarantee.

For more information visit:

(Other states have similar pages)

Play it safe and use a personal breathalyser so you’ll never need to install an alcohol ignition interlock device.

Christina Cini

Christina Cini

Christina is our very skilled Quality Assurance Manager/ Technician. With her degree in Mechatronics Engineering, she is able to apply her field of studies to her current occupation, also providing a better understanding into our more technical blog posts such as calibration, maintenance of your breathalyser, as well as sensors.


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