Ignition Interlock Program
Learn how the program works and what happens when you install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
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About the program
The Ignition Interlock Program is a mandatory program for drivers who have been either:
- convicted of an impaired driving offence under the Criminal Code of Canada
- suspended three or more times within a 10-year period for impaired driving offences (called “administrative suspensions”)
To continue driving after your licence is reinstated, you must have an ignition interlock device installed inside your vehicle. The device is an in-car alcohol breath screening device with the ability to prevent the engine from starting if it detects alcohol in your system.
The length of time you must stay in the program depends on the Ignition Interlock condition (“I”) placed on your driver’s licence:
|Type of penalty||Condition period|
|Criminal Code conviction|
The Ignition Interlock condition may get extended if you violate the terms of the program such as:
- tampering with the device
- driving without using the device
- missing an appointment with your program service provider
If you choose not to install an interlock device, you cannot drive until the condition is removed from your licence.
Reduced Suspension with Ignition Interlock Conduct Review Program
For first-time or second-time offenders convicted of alcohol impaired driving under the Criminal Code, you may be able to reduce your licence suspension by meeting certain requirements. Learn more about this program.
How ignition interlock devices work
After the ignition interlock device is installed in your vehicle, you will need to blow into the device, located near the driver’s seat, before your vehicle will start.
If the device detects a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the preset limit of 0.02 the vehicle won’t start. If you are under the preset limit, the vehicle will start and you will be asked to provide breath samples at random times while the vehicle is running.
If you don’t provide a sample or if your BAC exceeds the limit, the device will:
- issue a warning
- record the event
- activate specific alarm systems (for example, lights flashing, horn honking) until you turn off the ignition
Installation and costs
You will need to register with one of the government-approved interlock service providers to have the ignition interlock device installed. For more information, please visit:
Drivers are responsible for all installation and maintenance costs for the device. The device must also be inspected regularly by the service provider. The service provider will provide related information, including fees, when you register for the program.
Removing Ignition Interlock conditions
From a Criminal Code conviction
If you have completed the minimum period for your Ignition Interlock condition without any program violations, you can apply to have the condition removed from your driver’s licence.
Follow these steps to apply:
- You will be mailed a Substance Use Assessment form 6 months before your condition removal date from the Ministry of Transportation.
- Take the form to your physician, specialist, or nurse practitioner and have it completed in full with all questions answered.
- Submit the completed form by mail or fax to:
Ministry of Transportation
Driver Medical Review
77 Wellesley Street West, Box 589
If you don't apply to remove the condition from your licence, it will stay on your licence. This means you will only be able to drive vehicles that are equipped with an approved ignition interlock device or be subject to penalties under the Highway Traffic Act.
From administrative suspensions
No application is required. The ignition interlock condition will automatically be removed if you have completed the minimum 6-month period without any program violations.
If you are convicted of driving without an ignition interlock device or for tampering with it, you will face fines ranging from:
- $200-$20,000 for commercial vehicles
- $200-$1,000 for other motor vehicles
If you violate your ignition interlock condition, your vehicle can be impounded.
- If you are in the program because of Criminal Code conviction:
- 45 days for a first offence
- 90 days for a second offence
- 180 days for a third or subsequent offence
- If you are in the program because of administrative suspensions:
- 7 days
You can receive further charges under the Criminal Code of Canada or the Highway Traffic Act for program violations.
Vehicle owners who knowingly allow a person with an ignition interlock condition to drive their vehicle can also be charged.