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Alcohol Interlock FAQ: All you need to know

Alcohol Interlock FAQ: All you need to know

What are alcohol interlocks?

Alcohol interlocks are breathalysers that are professionally installed into a vehicle’s ignition system, preventing them from starting their engines if drivers fail an alcohol breath test. This helps prevent drunk driving incidents.

These devices are usually installed as an added safety measure in vehicles that are used for industrial or commercial purposes, such as in the transportation or logistics industry.

Some states in Australia have an alcohol interlock order that is applied to individuals found guilty of drink driving. This makes the installation of an alcohol interlock compulsory if the individual wishes to continue driving.

LEARN MORE: Drink driving penalties in Australia

The Andatech ALX3000 Car interlock breathalyser is designed for voluntary or workplace use. The unit has a fast response time of 10 seconds and a recovery time of less than 30 seconds.

How are alcohol interlocks different from car breathalysers?

Alcohol interlocks are different from car breathalysers because they need to be installed into the vehicle’s ignition system. Car breathalysers are typically handheld breathalysers that are placed in cars to be used before driving.

Smartphone breathalysers from Andatech provide the added safety feature of taking a picture of the test subject as proof of testing. This ensures that drivers have indeed actually conducted a breath test. Results are then recorded in Andatech’s Andalink app, ensuring that the test subject is sober before driving. This reduces the chances of circumventing the breath test.

How do alcohol interlocks work?

Alcohol interlocks work by preventing a vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level exceeds a predetermined limit, which is typically 0.00. Before driving, the driver must present a breath sample into the device. If alcohol is detected, the car will not start.

Man blowing into alcohol interlock car breathalyser

What if a person drinks while driving after passing the initial alcohol breath test?

Some car interlocks, including the Andatech ALX3000,  have a rolling test feature that will request a breath sample periodically while the car is in motion. When this happens, the driver needs to pull over and perform another breath test. This prevents any drinking after the initial breath test is passed.

How can alcohol interlocks be installed?

Alcohol interlocks need to be installed by a certified mechanic or professional.

For assistance locating a professional to install your purchased Andatech ALX3000 car interlock breathalyser, contact Andatech at or by calling us at 1300-800-200.

Are there any alternatives to alcohol interlocks?

Handheld breathalysers are sometimes used as an alternative to an alcohol interlock. However, if using a portable breathalyser, additional supervision may be required. A safety officer or concerned parent would need to either conduct the test or, in the case of smartphone breathalysers, monitor results remotely to ensure that drivers do not drive under the influence of alcohol.

However, it’s worth noting that handheld breathalysers can only be an alternative to voluntary alcohol interlock installations. There are no substitutes for court-ordered alcohol interlocks.

Do alcohol interlocks need to be calibrated?

Alcohol interlocks need to be calibrated periodically, just like regular breathalysers. The Andatech ALX3000 car interlock breathalyser needs to be calibrated every 12 months. However, other manufacturers may have different guidelines on calibration.

Where should alcohol interlocks be used?

Alcohol interlocks should be installed by safety-sensitive organisations that operate vehicles and heavy machinery, such as companies within the transportation and logistics industry. This is because alcohol misuse in these settings could lead to disaster in the workplace.

Parents and guardians of young drivers should also consider an alcohol interlock or a personal breathalyser as an additional safety feature to prevent irresponsible decisions that could be fatal.

How much does an alcohol interlock cost?

Alcohol interlocks generally cost anywhere between $1,500 to $2,500. The Andatech car interlock is suitable for voluntary installation to help prevent drunk driving incidents. Many interlock providers offer an instalment plan to ease the cost of installing the breathalyser.

However, it’s worth noting that aside from monetary costs, installing an alcohol interlock by a court order carries other personal costs, including the stigma of the interlock, the legal cost and the inconvenience cost.

READ MORE: The true cost of an alcohol interlock breathalyser

The importance of ensuring sober driving

2023 marked the deadliest year on Australian roads in over five years, with a total of 1,253 lives lost across the country, a significant amount of these accidents and deaths were due to irresponsible drunk or drug driving.

In fact, over the 2024 Australia Day weekend, 787 drivers were caught drink or drug driving in NSW alone, a discouraging statistic for Australian alcohol road safety in 2024. Owning a breathalyser helps promote responsible drinking among Australians from all walks of life by helping them understand just how impaired they are instead of ‘guesstimating’.

Browse through Andatech’s full range of breathalysers to find the right unit to suit your needs, whether at the workplace or at the pub.