Driving while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited across Australia. Drink driving is one of the top factors of road accidents or fatalities. It involves operating a vehicle with alcohol content more than the prescribed amount. A person with a high alcohol concentration often has a reduced ability to drive safely. Alcohol intoxication impairs a person’s vision, hearing, judgment, and motor coordination. Therefore, law enforcement constantly patrols roads or highways to monitor impairment. In particular, drink driving in Victoria is strictly regulated and has heavy penalties.
Victoria imposes a legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit for fully licensed drivers at 0.05%. It means that there must be no more than 0.05g of alcohol per 100ml of blood in your system. However, drivers with a probationary license (P plates) or learner permit (L plates) have zero BAC limit. Likewise, bus, taxi, and heavy vehicle (over 15 tonnes) drivers also have zero BAC limit. Police officers may check the alcohol content using a breathalyser to determine impaired driving. Therefore, many people monitor their consumption with personal devices to avoid drink driving in Victoria. Devices from Breathalysers Australia help individuals check their BAC from exceeding the legal limit.
Drink Driving in Victoria: What are the Laws?
It is important to know your alcohol limit whenever you drive in Australia. Each State or Territory has specific laws and corresponding penalties. You can be charged with drink driving in Victoria if you commit the following:
- Driving with a BAC over the prescribed amount. For example, if your alcohol limit is zero, a positive BAC from a police breathalyser test may constitute legal charges.
- Causing serious injuries to others where alcohol is a factor
- Refusing to stop at a breath testing station
- Refusing to provide a breath sample
- Loss of life using a vehicle where alcohol is a factor
Police officers may randomly inspect a vehicle to conduct an alcohol breath test. A roadside breath test procedure involves asking the driver to provide a breath sample to a breathalyser. If alcohol is present, the device produces small electrical currents and converts them into BAC values. Moreover, the BAC indicates a person’s impairment level. The more a person consumes alcohol, the higher the BAC. Consequently, law enforcement executes extensive breath tests yearly to determine drink driving in Victoria. Unfortunately, many people have lost their licenses at checkpoints for driving with a BAC over the legal limit.
Penalties for Drink Driving in Victoria
Drink driving is a serious offence and has severe consequences in Australia. Due to their negative impacts, stricter regulations include setting the BAC limit to 0.05% and zero for learner or probationary drivers. Moreover, the penalties for drink driving in Victoria will depend on many factors. It includes the driver’s age, the type of offence committed, the type of license or permit, and whether it is your first or subsequent offence. Additionally, the drink driving penalties are:
- Licence cancellation or suspension
- Attending a compulsory Behaviour Change Program
- Alcohol interlock program
- Prison terms for the most serious offences
Fully licensed drivers with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.07 will be fined and incur ten demerit points. However, a BAC of more than 0.07% will have their licence cancelled. In addition, high-range drink driving in Victoria for the first offence includes a mandatory installation of an alcohol interlock for at least six months. Similarly, all repeat offenders, no matter the BAC levels, will have their licenses cancelled and undergo the alcohol interlock program.
Information on Alcohol Interlock Program
High-range drink driving in Victoria for first or subsequent offences includes undergoing an Alcohol Interlock Program. Under the program, the driver has a limited license involving the installation of an alcohol interlock to the vehicle. An alcohol interlock is an electronic breath testing device connected to a car’s engine. Therefore, the participant must perform a breath test each time to drive. Moreover, the breath sample must be clear or have zero BAC to start the car’s engine. Hence, a person cannot drive if the interlock device detects alcohol in the breath. If consecutive breath tests fail, it will result in a temporary lockout. Additionally, the device also records all breath test results.
The Alcohol Interlock Program aims to minimise repeat drink driving in Victoria. It also intends to make people separate alcohol consumption and driving. The person may exit the program upon the completion of the period and with no additional driving offence. Therefore, many people use a personal breathalyser to check their BAC. A personal breathalyser like BACtrack from Breathalysers Australia is valuable in monitoring alcohol levels during consumption. People under the program may also use a personal breathalyser before breath testing in the alcohol interlock to ensure their BAC is clear. The device measures the BAC or the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. If alcohol is present, a breathalyser produces small electrical currents and converts them into BAC values.
Ways to Avoid Drink Driving
High levels of alcohol consumption can rapidly affect the senses and motor functions. The rise in the BAC depends on the many factors affecting a person. Intoxication may depend on factors such as age, gender, weight, body type, food and water content, and metabolism rate. Therefore, knowing how alcohol affects you is vital in avoiding severe impairment. Additionally, a personal breathalyser can help you understand how different alcoholic beverages affect you. Health experts recommend testing the BAC with a breathalyser like BACtrack every hour or after every few rounds of drinks. Furthermore, these measures can help avoid drink driving in Victoria or anywhere in Australia:
- Check the number of standard drinks of alcohol being served. Different beverage types contain varying alcohol concentration amounts.
- Eat food before you start drinking.
- Alternate consuming alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic drinks.
- Check your BAC every hour with a breathalyser
- Do not attempt to drive with alcohol content in your system
- Assign a non-drinking designated driver
BAC Monitoring with Devices from Breathalysers Australia
Breathalysers are efficient devices to measure a person’s BAC. It allows people to monitor their alcohol levels without resorting to guess estimates. Using a breathalyser has significantly reduced the cases of drink driving in Victoria. Breathalysers Australia provides reliable devices to check the BAC. You may choose a personal breathalyser depending on your specific needs. If you need high accuracy, the BACtrack S80 Pro is a pro-grade device trusted by consumers and industries nationwide. The Pro series from Breathalysers Australia features fuel cell sensors for the most dependable and precise BAC readings. Furthermore, fuel cell breathalysers have police-grade accuracy and are the same technology used in roadside screenings.
Drink driving has many negative impacts. Therefore, with drink driving in Victoria being one of the most serious offences, proper BAC monitoring can prevent road incidents or legal charges. The BACtrack devices at Breathalysers Australia help many people keep their BAC from exceeding the legal limit. They are also useful in monitoring the BAC decline and making informed safety decisions. In summary, knowing your alcohol limit, moderating your alcohol intake, and using a breathalyser can help avoid drink driving charges in Victoria or anywhere in Australia.