Don't Drink and Drive - Know Your LimitsPublished Thursday, June 20, 2019
Alcohol impairs one’s ability to control a vehicle and research suggests that at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%, the risk of being involved in a traffic crash is double that of a person that has not been drinking at all. It is important to know your alcohol limits when driving a car.
Any alcohol at all will affect your ability to drive. In Australia, it is an offence to drive while your BAC is 0.05 or above.
If you are a novice driver; or have been recently disqualified; or are a holder of an Extraordinary Licence; or are a driver of a taxi; small charter vehicle; vehicle carrying dangerous goods; or a vehicle over 22.5t, the legal limit is zero.
Note: a novice driver is a person that has not held a driver’s licence for a period of 2 or more years.
Your BAC should remain below 0.05 if you:
- Drink no more than two standard drinks in the first hour and one per hour thereafter (for men of average size); or
- Drink no more than one standard drink per hour (for women of average size)
However, it is important to remember it can vary significantly from person to person.
Only in Western Australia can the police issue not only a traffic infringement notice for drink driving offences but they can also issue disqualification notices to them. The police will do this immediately at the roadside when the motorist registers a breath alcohol concentration that is prescribed.
A disqualification notice will effectively render the drink driver’s license suspended for two months even before the drink driver has appeared in court. And this is different from the court-imposed disqualification which may be from a minimum of six months and upwards.
Legislation passed in Western Australia earlier this year will target those drink drivers that continue to re-offend.
Convicted drink drivers in WA who get their licence back will have to pay for a breath-test lock that stops them from driving under the influence.
The alcohol interlock will be installed for at least 6 months and cost the driver between $1600 and $2200 to hire. An alcohol interlock is an electronic breath-testing device wired to the ignition system of a vehicle. Interlocks can be fitted to motorcycles, cars and trucks. If the driver provides a positive breath test, their vehicle won’t start.
Other states and territories have been using the alcohol devices for a number of years and reports have seen some positive results.
A full list of the drink driving penalties can be viewed at the Western Australian Police website.
Remember to know your limits and be safe on the roads.