Drink Drive is also known as “Driving with excess breath / Blood alcohol. If you are going to drink, then find an alternative way to get home rather than driving. Research indicates that driving after consuming any level of alcohol impairs your ability

Blood Alcohol Levels (BAC)

There are 2 ways of assessing the alcohol limit for driving.

  1.  Breath - Breath testing measures the number of micrograms of alcohol (mcgs) per litre of breath;•
  2. Blood - Blood testing measures the number of milligrams of alcohol (mgs) per 100 milliliters (mls) of blood.

Although the measures appear different, they are essentially the same. They both measure the same level of alcohol for drink driving purposes.

Breath testing is used for both screening and evidential purposes. Blood testing can be used as a check on the accuracy of the breath testing. The Police can require a blood test if the person refuses to do a breath test.

Current Legal Limits

Drivers under 20 years - 150mcg breath or 30mg blood;

Drivers over 20 years - 400mcg breath or 80mg blood.

If you are driving over the current legal limit of alcohol, then there are consequences to it.


For the First or Second Offense the accused will be charged and convicted with :

  • A conviction and permanent record;
  • Usually at least six months disqualification;
  • Up to three months in jail but its very unlikely on a first or second drink drive offense;
  • A fine of up to $4,500 - but with a first offence usually figure on a dollar per point.
  • For example you blew a reading of 600 - expect a fine of around $500
  • Court costs - usually $138.50
  • Possibly community work

For the Third (or more) Offense - "three strikes", the accused will be charged with:

  • A conviction and permanent record thereof;
  • Mandatory disqualification of at least 12 months disqualification;
  • Up to two years in Jail;
  • A fine of up to $6,000;
  • Court costs - the least of your problems; and
  • Possibly community work - if you're lucky


  • Different penalties apply to people aged under 20 years old.
  • The date(s) of previous convictions can make a big difference and you may be facing extra penalties still. For example if you've had a particularly high reading or a refusal within the last five years or you're charged with either of those offenses this time (having had an ordinary EBA less than five years ago) then you're facing "indefinite disqualification".


A limited licence (often referred to as a 'work licence') is a driver's licence that allows a disqualified person to drive most typically for the purpose of their work. As the name suggests it is more limited in its usability than a full drivers licence.

The 28-day stand down - If the accused has been disqualified on a "serious" traffic offence - namely drink driving and similar road hazard type offences, then he/she can apply for a limited licence on the 28th day from the date of the sentence of disqualification.

The accused need to satisfy the court that he/she is suffering from undue hardship because he/she needs a licence for his/her job purposes. The accused needs to prove the loss of income and is suffering from financial hardship and will bring the adverse effect on his/ her personal and family life such as will not be able to pay mortgage or will not be able to meet family expenses.

This is all about whether the police think that you will be safe behind the wheel if you do get a limited licence.

With a demerit point suspension or a disqualification for careless use you don't need to wait 28 days - you can apply for a limited licence immediately.