What is the Alcohol Limit for Driving in Australia?

Driving under the influence of alcohol has endangered many lives on the road. Alcohol-impaired driving has caused serious injuries, disabilities, and fatalities. The harmful use of alcohol is a top health and safety concern in Australia. It is one of the leading factors for road crashes. Thus, Australia enforces stricter regulations to reduce alcohol-related incidents. The strategies include putting more sobriety checkpoints and imposing heavier drink driving penalties. Keeping your alcohol level as low as it can be can significantly help keep you safe while driving. Moreover, it is crucial to stay under the alcohol limit for driving in Australia to avoid drink driving charges. 

Alcohol intoxication affects the ability to drive safely. Excessive consumption drastically increases the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and impairs the senses. In particular, a person with a high BAC level experiences a blurry vision, uncoordinated movements, and slower reaction time. Thus, knowing the alcohol limit for driving is necessary to protect yourself and others on the road. Fortunately, impaired driving and accidents are preventable. The availability of portable alcohol testers has enabled consumers to monitor their BAC. Breathalysers efficiently measure the BAC to know your intoxication level instantly. Breathalysers Australia provides reliable alcohol testing through their personal breathalysers. Additionally, personal breathalysers can help people moderate their intake to remain below the legal limit. 

Alcohol Limit for Driving in Australia

Nowadays, many people ask: What is the safe alcohol level for driving? The best BAC is zero. This is because intoxication begins with the first drink. Depending on the intake, the person may feel the effects after a few minutes and it could last for hours. Therefore, a even low BAC range is still a safety risk. Moreover, knowing your alcohol limit for driving is essential in Australia. Each States has a different alcohol limit and corresponding penalties. The general alcohol limits are:

  • Zero BAC – Zero alcohol level applies to drivers with a learner, provisional 1 and 2 permits. New drivers are developing their driving skills and must maintain a speed limit of 100km/hr or below. Additionally, visiting drivers or holding an overseas license must adhere to a zero BAC limit. There must not be any alcohol content in the system while driving. 
  • Under 0.02 BAC – These BAC limit applies to drivers of gross vehicle mass (GVM) or vehicle units exceeding 13.9 tonnes. Similarly, drivers carrying dangerous goods and public utility vehicles like taxis and buses must keep below 0.02 BAC. 
  • Under 0.05 BAC – These BAC applies to all licenses not subject to zero or 0.02 limit. This is the general BAC limit that most drivers follow. 


Factors Affecting the Alcohol Limit for Driving

Alcohol has varying effects on individuals. Estimating your BAC level by counting the number of drinks is often inaccurate and unreliable. The BAC begins to increase as soon as you start consuming alcohol. Additionally, many factors can influence the BAC, making you exceed the alcohol limit for driving. The common elements are:

  • Alcohol type and number of standard drinks
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Body type
  • Gender
  • Food intake
  • Metabolism rate
  • Medications
  • Body fat percentage
  • Fitness level

Understanding how alcohol affects your body helps in controlling your intake. People can process alcohol at different rates. For example, people with a smaller build and lesser body fat content tend to have higher BAC than those who are bigger. Likewise, women tend to increase their BAC faster than men due to enzyme levels, body size and composition, hormones, and water content. Metabolism rate, food intake, and additional medications also affect the BAC. Therefore, there is no fixed formula for keeping your BAC below the alcohol limit for driving. The best method for BAC monitoring is by checking it through a breathalyser. Most of the breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia use fuel cell sensor technology to determine the precise BAC level. After the first drink, you can use a breathalyser to check your BAC increase. Then, you will be able to gauge your intake based on your BAC. 

Exceeded the Alcohol Limit for Driving, What is Next? 

Alcohol-related driving increases the risk for accidents. Police officers randomly conduct alcohol breath tests to reduce road incidents. Law enforcers would typically ask drivers to pull over if they see signs of impaired driving. Roadside inspection is a customary procedure to determine if a person has exceeded the alcohol limit for driving. Moreover, police officers would also use professional-grade breathalysers to check your BAC level. If your BAC exceeds the legal limit, you are subject to legal charges and penalties. Furthermore, the penalties will depend on your driving license, BAC level, and location (State). During a roadside breath test, police will ask you to blow into the device. The breathalyser analyses the breath sample and show the BAC results. Lastly, if alcohol is detected, police officers can then ask you to take an evidential breath test at a nearby police station. 

A confirmatory test at a police station will be used as evidence in court for driving violations. Police stations use advanced equipment like infrared spectrometry to get the precise measurement of BAC. So if you exceed the alcohol limit for driving, you are subject to penalties corresponding to your BAC level. In particular, the drink driving penalties for first and subsequent offences include:

  • Penalty notice fine
  • Immediate licence suspension
  • Maximum court-imposed fine
  • Prison terms – for mid and high range prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA).
  • Driving disqualification – minimum of three months
  • Alcohol interlock order 

Preventing Drink Driving

There are many ways to avoid drink driving and road accidents. You can prevent yourself from going over the legal limit for driving by applying simple strategies. If you plan to consume alcohol, set a limit on the number of drinks. Particularly, if you know how alcohol affects you, checking the number of standard drinks and controlling the amount can drastically help. Moreover, check your BAC level after each round with a breathalyer. The personal breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia are portable and affordable, allowing you stay within the legal driving limit. It is best to assign a designated driver or take a cab home if you plan on drinking. Additionally, do not get in a car with a driver who has consumed alcohol. Some people may not display symptoms of intoxication but have their driving abilities impaired. 

Why Choose a BACtrack Breathalyser

The best way to ensure safety is to know your alcohol limit for driving. A breathalyser enables you to monitor your BAC and prevent it from reaching dangerous levels. Breathalysers Australia offers a wide range of alcohol testers to help keep you safe. The BACtrack devices from Breathalysers Australia have pro-grade sensors. The S80 Pro is an FDA-approved breathalyser, meeting all the federal requirements to be an effective breath screening device. It features the Xtend fuel cell sensor technology, the same technology you can find in a police breathalyser. Alternatively, the BACtrack Mobile Pro can connect to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. The smartphone breathalyser has ZeroLine technology that can quickly estimate when your BAC level will return to 0.00%. These devices are valuable for moderating your consumption and monitoring the decrease of your BAC. You can view more products at Breathalysers Australia online to suit your needs.