What are the Australian Drink Driving Limits?

Road laws are state or territory based, but all states and territories have set similar rules.
Australian law allows police officers to stop any driver and perform a random breath test without reason. Roadblocks can be set up (for example, leading out of town centres on Friday and Saturday nights and after football matches or other major events), where every single driver will be breath-tested. This differs from UK and US laws, where police generally need a reason to suspect that the driver is intoxicated, before requesting a breath and/or sobriety test. It is an offence to refuse to provide a sample of breath when requested, with severe penalties including prison.

Australian Capital Territory

0 for drivers or riders holding a learner, provisional, restricted or probationary license and for drivers operating heavy vehicles over 15t GVM or driving a public vehicle for hire or reward (for example taxi and bus drivers).
0.05% for all other drivers.

New South Wales

Zero for Learner and Provisional licences.

0.02% for drivers of vehicles of “gross vehicle mass” greater than 13.9 tonnes, vehicles carrying dangerous goods or public vehicles such as a taxi or bus.

0.05% for all other drivers

Northern Territory

0 for provisional (probationary) licence holders and all motorcyclists.

0.05% for all other drivers.


A 0 limit applies to the drivers of trucks, buses, articulated vehicles, vehicles carrying dangerous goods, pilot vehicles, taxis, all learner drivers and provisional drivers and RE class licensed motorcyclists in their first 12 months.

0.05% for other drivers.

South Australia

0 limit for learner, provisional, probationary, heavy (greater than 15 tonne) vehicle, taxis, licensed chauffeured vehicles, dangerous goods, and bus licenses.

0.05% for all other drivers.


0 limit for learner, provisional, truck, bus, and taxi licences.

0.05% for all other drivers.


0 limit applies for unlicensed drivers, holders of learner permits and probationary licences, “professional” drivers, and certain relicensed drunk-drivers.

0.05% for all other drivers.

There are also other restrictions for drivers in Victoria:

Limits apply within 3 hours of driving – that is, police can require a person to submit to an alcohol or drugs test within 3 hours of driving and it is an offense to fail that test, unless the drug or alcohol use occurred after driving (see Road Safety Act 1986, ss. 49, 53 and 55E).

Licenses canceled for certain serious drunk-driving offenses may only be reissued after obtaining a court order. This is the case for repeat offenders, and first offenders above 0.15% . In such cases, the relicensed driver is subject to a 0 limit for 3 years following relicensing, or for as long as the person is required to use an alcohol interlock.

Alcohol interlocks must be imposed whenever a repeat drunk-driver is relicensed. A court also has discretion to impose an alcohol interlock when relicensing a first offender in certain serious cases, generally when the offense involves a BAC of 0.15% or higher. The law requires interlocks to be used for certain minimum periods, but the requirement to use an interlock does not automatically end at the completion of the minimum period. Once that period has expired, an individual may apply to a court to have the interlock condition removed from their driver’s licence. The State Police must be given notice of the application and may make submissions to the court on whether the interlock condition should be removed. The court will also take into account data recorded by the interlock itself (e.g., whether any attempts were made to start the vehicle by a person who had been drinking). Driving without an interlock when one is required carries severe penalties, including imprisonment.

If a doctor sees any patient who is aged 15 years or over as a result of a motor vehicle accident, the patient must allow the doctor to take a blood sample for testing for alcohol and drug content in a way that preserves the chain of evidence. If this process is skipped the doctor may not be able to discover the alcohol blood level. The results can be used as evidence in subsequent court proceedings.

The law allows a police officer to require any driver (or any person who has driven a vehicle within the last three hours) to perform a random saliva test for methamphetamine, Cannabis or MDMA, all of which are subject to a zero limit (see Road Safety Act 1986: ss. 49, 55E & 55D)

Western Australia

0 for learner and probationary licence holders and persons convicted of driving under the influence and/or failing to comply with a request for breath, blood or urine (for three years after the offense).

0.05% for all other drivers.

Readings over 0.08% but under 0.15% BAC, and 0.15% BAC and above (legally defined as Drunk Driving) comprise separate offenses, the latter attracting heavier penalties. Persistent offenders may be barred from driving for terms up to and including life, and may also be imprisoned.

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