The Drinking Age in Australia – The Dos and Don’ts

Alcohol consumption during social events is a normal part of many cultures. It is common to find alcohol at a party or gathering. Many adults also typically gather after work for a drink or two to mark the end of a work week. At moderate amounts, alcohol may help a person feel relaxed. However, excessive intake can lead to severe impairments of physical and mental functions. Alcohol intoxication affects vision, hearing, speech, reasoning, memory, balance, and coordination. The reduced capabilities increase the risks of car crashes or workplace accidents. Younger people tend to be more at risk so setting the minimum drinking age in Australia is vital to protect the public’s health and safety.

The Alcohol Laws of Australia

Alcohol laws of Australia regulate the sale of and consumption of alcoholic beverages. The misuse of alcohol creates adverse impacts on the community. Because of this, a fundamental part of alcohol regulation is establishing limitations to its uses and availability. The legal drinking age in Australia is 18 years old. It is consistent nationwide across all states and territories. Likewise, the minimum age for purchasing alcoholic products is also 18. At this age, the person is more able tomake sound and independent decisions. Additionally, a person should consume alcohol responsibly by knowing their limits. The general alcohol limit in Australia is 0.05% Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). It means that must be no more than 0.05g of alcohol per 100ml of blood in the system. Devices from Breathalysers Australia can estimate the BAC level to avoid exceeding the legal limit.

The drinking age in Australia applies to all states and territories. Only persons 18 years and older can consume and purchase alcohol on public premises or licensed venues. Violation of these laws has corresponding consequences, including fines, imprisonment, or driving disqualification. Therefore, it is essential to know your alcohol limit to avoid legal problems. Furthermore, alcohol laws can be classified into these major areas:

  • Underage drinking
  • Drinking in a public place 
  • Drink driving
  • Selling liquors
  • Labelling



Underage Drinking in Australia

Adolescents or under-18 year-olds have a zero alcohol limit. The national alcohol guidelines state minors must have zero alcohol content to reduce harmful health risks and injuries. Health experts warn that consuming alcohol at a young age can affect how the brain develops. Alcohol is a depressant that may cause the brain to slow down, which is worse on younger people. It may also hinder the brain functions associated with attention, memory, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. Lastly, a person who started drinking early in life has an increased probability of developing alcohol dependence or mental health issues. It has been found that young people are also more likely binge drink or consume alcohol excessively.. This issue accounts for most alcohol-related injuries in emergencies. Therefore, the legal drinking age in Australia ensures that the person is of a responsible age to make choices around alcohol consumption.

Drinking Age In Australia: The Guide to Responsible Alcohol Consumption

The drinking age in Australia guides how people can consume alcohol. You cannot drink alcoholic beverages in public venues like bars, clubs, or restaurants when you are under 18 years old. Vendors have the right to ask for an identification card to certify that you are of legal age to purchase alcohol. In fact, selling to an underage customer constitutes a penalty of up to an $11,000 fine, imprisonment, or both. Remember the dos and don’ts of alcohol to avoid legal complications.


  • Know your alcohol limit – If you are under the drinking age in Australia, your alcohol limit is zero. If you hold a learner’s permit, you must also have a zero BAC when driving. If you are an adult, your BAC limit is 0.05%
  • Check your BAC with a breathalyser – Monitor your alcohol level with a breathalyzer. Most BACtrack breathalysers use fuel cell sensors to estimate the BAC level accurately. In addition, it is the same technology that law enforcement use in roadside screening.
  • Follow the recommended alcohol intake per day. No more than two drinks for men and one drink for women.


  • Underage drinking – do not consume alcohol if you are on public or licensed premises. 
  • Drink driving – attempt to drive over the BAC limit. If you are under-18, on a learner’s permit, or on an alcohol interlock, your alcohol limit is zero. 
  • Secondary supply – Giving alcohol to minors if you are not the parent or guardian is not allowed. 



Drinking and Driving

Alcohol-related driving is one of the leading causes of road crashes and collisions in Australia every year. High intoxication levels can severely impair an individual’s ability to control a vehicle safely. As a result, it can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. Due to its negative impacts, drink driving imposes harsh punishment. Law enforcement conducts roadside breath tests to monitor impaired driving. A police officer will ask the driver to blow into a breathalyser device during the inspection. The breathalyser analyses the breath sample and displays the BAC results instantly. If the device shows a high BAC level, you are subject to hefty fines and disqualifications (for up to 12 months). Moreover, police officers will also check your license to ensure that you are within the drinking age in Australia to determine your penalty.

You must always refrain from alcohol consumption if under a provisional permit and below the drinking age in Australia. Any alcohol amount found in your system can subject you to fines, disqualification, and prison terms even for the first offence. Nowadays, many people use a personal breathalyser to prevent going over the legal limit regardless of age. A personal breathalyser is a useful tool to keep alcohol consumption in moderation. You may check your BAC after a each drink to understand if you need to slow down the intake or stop completely.

Uses of Personal Breathalysers

Many people who go out and consume alcohol use a breathalyser to monitor their intake. It helps them stay within the legal limit and avoid drink driving charges. Additionally, some workplaces with an alcohol program implement a zero-alcohol tolerance policy. Companies conduct breath tests to check the employees’ sobriety. Therefore, many workers use a personal breath tester to monitor the decline of their BAC. It helps them ensure that they work the next day alcohol-free. Another important use of personal breathalysers is for parents to check if their children have been consuming alcohol. Households with persons under the drinking age in Australia can benefit by using an alcohol screening device. 

Breathalysers Australia offers a wide range of alcohol testers for personal use. The BACtrack breathalysers are extremely portable and easy to use, ideal for mobile breath testing. In particular, BACtrack has a one-button operation for convenient use. Simply press the power button to start alcohol breath testing. Furthermore, the different devices at Breathalysers Australia fit every need and budget. Lastly, monitoring alcohol for persons under the drinking age in Australia can be more efficient with a breathalyser. It helps deter alcohol use and minimises the risks associated with alcohol.