Alcohol Interlocks
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Video transcript

This commercial is a series of very quick simple scenes.

VIDEO – A calendar shows 30-Sept flipping to 1st of Oct
VO - From October 1st

VIDEO – It's morning and our character Paul, a plumber is in his mid-30s is outside his home hurrying up the kids in to the car to take them to school.
VO – If you loses their licence for drink driving…

VIDEO – close up on the alcohol interlock device mounted in the car and then a shot of Paul blowing into the interlock.  
VO - …an alcohol interlock will be fitted to any vehicle you drive.

VIDEO –Paul takes his son and daughter, walking quickly up a school path because they're late.
VO - Which means your day will involve hurrying up the kids

VIDEO –He runs the other way through shot empty handed.
VO – Hurrying up yourself

VIDEO – Close up of Paul blowing into the Interlock. As he does, a couple of teachers walks by looking at him.
VO - Blowing into the interlock

VIDEO – Paul is stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.
VO - Keeping your cool

VIDEO – The alcohol interlock beeps, he sighs in frustrations and pulls over.
VO - Pulling over

VIDEO – He blows into the interlock.
VO - blowing into the interlock

VIDEO – We see hands lifting papers on a workbench to find a phone ringing.  
VO –Looking for the phone.

VIDEO – We see his hands patting his pockets to find keys.
VO - Looking for your keys.

VIDEO – He sits with a couple of other tradies having a tea break. They say nothing.  
VO - Making small talk

VIDEO – It's after work, and he's outside his work blowing into the interlock.
VO - Blowing into the interlock

VIDEO – He's in the car park of the supermarket with a trolley full of groceries and with his wife and kids.
VO – Shopping

VIDEO – It's dark and he blows into the interlock in front of his family.
VO – Blowing into the interlock

VIDEO – He sits on the couch. Exhausted after a busy day.
VO –  The interlock's a pain. Only a little bit over? You bloody idiot.

  SUPER : TAC LOGO. Only a little bit over? You bloody idiot.

End of the transcript
YouTube Version Audio description file

Alcohol Interlocks

Alcohol Interlocks – the new law

From 1 October Victoria will have new alcohol interlock laws.Anyone whose licence is cancelled for drink-driving (or riding) will have to fit an alcohol interlock into any vehicle they drive (home car, work car,motorbike) once they have relicensed (with a special 'l' condition) after their disqualification period ends.The interlock will be installed for a minimum of six months.

Alcohol interlocks stop vehicles from being started if the driver(or rider) has been drinking. This technology helps people separate drinking from driving.

Alcohol interlocks are capable of taking photographs and will become mandatory for all drink-drivers whose licences are cancelled. This will help identify the person who has provided the breath sample each time there is an attempt to start the vehicle.

Random tests while driving are also required.

Watch this video to learn how interlocks work

Why change the rules?

Alcohol interlocks are proven to reduce repeat drink driving by up to 64 per cent while they are fitted.

The Victorian Alcohol Interlock Program has already prevented people affected by alcohol from driving their vehicles more than 250,000 times.

Technological advances mean that in the long-term alcohol interlocks are likely to be a standard feature of all new vehicles in Australia. But, in the mean time, Victoria is leading the way in taking action to reduce the damage caused by drink-driving offenders.

Drink driving
Drink-drivers are responsible for 25 to 30 per cent of deaths and 11 per cent of serious injuries on our roads, while repeat drink-drivers make up 20 percent of all drink-drivers detected. Thirty per cent of drink-drivers involved in fatal crashes are repeat offenders.

Under the changes, it is expected that at least 10,000 drink drivers a year, up from 5,400 per year, will have to fit alcohol interlocks to their vehicles before they can drive on our roads again.

How will the alcohol Interlock legislation work?

The first stage of the new legislation will make alcohol interlocks mandatory for the following new groups of drink-drivers:

  • Every first offender who has a probationary licence or learner permit;
  • Other drivers who have a BAC of 0.07 to 0.15;
  • Drivers with a BAC under 0.07 whose licences are cancelled, including professional drivers of buses, taxis and vehicles over 15 tonnes;
  • Novice motorcycle riders who are subject to a zero BAC limit;
  • All repeat offenders with a BAC reading under 0.07; and
  • Serious alcohol-related vehicle offences under the Sentencing Act 1991, including first offences.

The second stage will include all other drink-drivers not currently subject to an alcohol interlock because their licences have not been cancelled.

The second stage is expected to increase the number of drivers and riders required to use alcohol interlocks from 10,700 to approximately 13,300per year.

What is the current law?

Interlocks are currently mandatory for:

  • All drink driving offences with a BAC of 0.15 or more;
  • Most repeat offences;
  • First offences by young drivers with a BAC of 0.07 or more;
  • Refusing a breath test or driving under the influence of alcohol; and
  • Other serious offences under the Sentencing Act 1991, such as culpable driving involving alcohol.

What will it cost?

The cost of installing and maintaining the interlock will vary however, a basic cost estimate is below:

  • $175  Installation fee
  • 7 x $150 monthly service
  • $100 to remove

TOTAL = $1605 for a 6 month alcohol interlock period.

The driver is responsible for covering the costs of the interlocks.

When does it come in to effect?

From October 1, 2014

Only a little bit over you bloody idiot

In 1989 the TAC became involved in mass media road safety advertising launching a series of television commercials showing the tragic results of drink driving. This is when that well known tagline - drink drive, bloody idiot – was born.

From the beginning, enforcement has been a key part of the deterring drink driving. The TAC has funded the purchase of booze buses for Victoria Police random breath tests, breath testers and other equipment to detect offenders.

A major aim of the TAC's drink driving advertising has been to emphasise the reality of  being caught if you are over the limit and the severe penalties that follow.

More recently many people have ignored the dangers of mixing alcohol and driving and have continued to drive with lower, but still illegal, BAC. The excuse used is that driving "only a little bit over .05" is OK. This ignores the fact the risk of a crash is increased as drink drivers are more likely to speed, less likely to wear a seatbelt and less likely to take steps to prevent fatigue.

To combat this,  the TAC introduced the Only a little bit over? campaign in December 2003. Here the key message is - if you drink and drive over the BAC limit, you are breaking the law and endangering the lives of innocent passengers and other road users.

In 1989, the year that the TAC commenced its campaigns, 114 drivers and riders died in road crashes with an illegal blood alcohol concentration. This figure had dropped to 42 in 2009.


Drink driving is one of the biggest killers on Victoria's roads. Almost a quarter of all fatal crashes in Victoria involve a driver or rider with an illegal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

As drink driving has become more and more socially unacceptable, the TAC's drink drive campaigns are often aimed at low level drink drivers - those who think it is ok to be "just a little bit over" or at the legal limit.  

Here are some common questions about drink driving limits. 

What is BAC? 

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is a measurement of the amount of alcohol in the body. BAC is measured in grams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.05. This means that a driver's body must contain less than 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. A driver's BAC is measured by a simple breath test procedure. Most people find it difficult to gauge their own blood alcohol level as there are so many factors that you need to consider.

These include:

  • the amount of alcohol consumed
  • the period of time over which alcohol is consumed
  • your body mass
  • whether or not you have eaten
  • your fitness levels and
  • the health of your liver.

Because everyone is different, some people need to drink less than the standard hourly recommendations to maintain a BAC level below the legal limit. 

How does alcohol affect driving performance? 

Driving is a complex task requiring decision making and total concentration. Alcohol affects a driver's ability to be totally in control of his or her actions. 

BAC levels and their affects:

  • 0.02 to 0.05 BAC - the ability to see or locate moving lights correctly is diminished, as is the ability to judge distances. The tendency to take risks is increased, and the ability to respond to several stimuli is decreased.
  • 0.05 to 0.08 BAC - the ability to judge distances is reduced, sensitivity to red lights is impaired, reactions are slower and concentration span shorter. At 0.08 BAC drivers are five times more likely to have an accident than before they started drinking.
  • 0.08 to 0.12 BAC - euphoria sets in, overestimation of one's abilities leads to reckless driving, peripheral vision is impaired (resulting in accidents due to hitting vehicles in passing) and perception of obstacles is impaired. Drivers are up to 10 times more likely to have an accident.

What is the current law relating to drink driving? 

P plate drivers must have a BAC of zero. Drivers of heavy trucks, buses, trains and trams must maintain a zero BAC level while on the road in most of Australia. Motorcyclists in their first year of riding also must maintain a zero BAC while on the road. Penalties for drink-driving offences include disqualification from driving for a specified period, fines and imprisonment. In Victoria, a BAC reading of 0.15 or higher results in suspension of the driver's licence on the spot, until the case is heard in court. Since 13 May 2002 , Victorian courts can order anyone committing a repeat drink driver offence or driving with a BAC reading of more than 0.15 to have an alcohol interlock device fitted to their car, motorbike or truck ignition. See VicRoads for more details.