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Drink driving

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 who has not been drinking at all.

The legal limits

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; bus; 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 total period of 2 or more years. 

Rule of thumb

For men: No more than two standard drinks in the first hour and one standard drink each hour after that.

For women: No more than one standard drink each hour.

Note: Some people, especially women, may need to take further precautions when pacing their drinks.

Standard drink: Any drink containing about 10g of alcohol 

'Do you know when to stop - A driver's guide to staying under 0.05 BAC' information brochure (produced by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau)

Brochure includes:

  • How does alcohol affect my driving?
  • What is BAC and how does it work?
  • What factors affect BAC?
  • What if my limit is zero or under 0.02 BAC?
  • What is the rule of thumb?
  • How can I reduce my BAC?
  • How can I work out my BAC?
  • What is a standard drink?
  • How can I minimise the risk?    

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