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Australia has strict laws against drunk driving

Sep 12, 2017
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Each Australian state and territory has laws that regulate the consumption of alcohol and our behaviour when we are under the influence of alcohol.

We all know that if you drink and drive with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.05 you are breaking the law. In most states, learner drivers, P-platers and commercial drivers (such as bus drivers) must have a BAC of nil.

In Tasmania, WA, the ACT and Queensland, drinking a "roadie" on your way home, even if you are not over the limit, can lead to a fine.

Leaving the car at home and riding your pushbike – or your horse – to the local pub may seem like a good idea but this is also illegal in most states.

A Queensland woman found this out the hard way when she was arrested for allegedly riding her horse through a drive-through bottle shop while four times over the legal limit.

The laws in Victoria make being drunk while in charge of a “carriage” an offence, a hang-over from the days of a horse and cart, whereas other states such as NSW and Tasmania consider a bicycle to be a vehicle, and WA and Queensland have laws that specifically relate to being under the influence while riding a bike.

The same blood alcohol limits apply to the skippers of boats in most states.

Penalties for drink-driving, boating or riding can include heavy fines, loss of licence, impoundment of vehicles and community-based orders or imprisonment, depending on the nature and seriousness of the charge.

Drinking in public is another charge that can often catch revellers by surprise.

In some local council areas, enjoying a cold beer in the sunshine at a local park can lead to a fine.

Most local councils have restrictions on where and when alcohol can be consumed in public, with some imposing permanent alcohol-free zones (such most public roads, footpaths and also Melbourne’s CBD) or at certain times of the year (Australia Day or New Year’s Eve).

Interestingly, there are no laws that make it an offence for a person under 18 to drink alcohol in a private home with parental consent and supervision.

The offences around under-age drinking relate to selling alcohol to a minor, and a minor drinking at licensed premises or in a public place.

Alison and Jillian Barrett are both principals at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. The Queensland sisters are experienced lawyers and passionate social justice campaigners. Alison juggles motherhood, as well as heading up a major legal practice area. Younger sister Jillian also leads a team of lawyers and sports a double degree in Law and Journalism.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/motoring/...ide-it-there-drunk/ar-AAymxVs?ocid=spartanntp

Australia has very strict laws when it comes to drinking and driving:

Drink-driving penalties
Drivers face harsh penalties if they are caught drink driving

Tougher penalties are here


From 30 April 2018 if you get caught driving at .05 or more you’ll:
  • lose your licence
  • need to complete a compulsory Drink Driver Program and
  • get an alcohol interlock installed on re-licensing.

Changes to drink-driving penalties
From 31 January 2018, if you hold a Victorian licence and get caught drink driving interstate, the same rules apply as if you’d be caught here.

This means that your Victorian licence will get cancelled and you'll have conditions like driving with zero blood alcohol added to your licence. You'll also need to have an alcohol interlock installed to any vehicle you drive.

For more information contact the Victorian Alcohol Interlock Program on 1300 723 790 or alcoholinterlocks@roads.vic.gov.au

Penalties for drink-drivers
Those caught driving with a Blood or Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over the legal limit face heavy fines, loss of licence and, for the most serious offenders, possible imprisonment.

The penalties for drink-driving differ depending on:

  • the type of offence you committed
  • when you committed the offence
  • your age at the time of the offence
  • the licence or permit you held
  • if it wasn't your first offence.
Penalties for first offences committed on or after 30 April 2018
Offence description Penalties
BAC less than 0.05

You have a:



    • learner permit
    • P1 or P2 licence
    • full licence with a Z condition (or otherwise have a zero BAC requirement)
You will:



    • receive a fine
    • need to complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
    • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for at least 3 months
    • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
BAC between .05 and .069

You have a:



    • learner permit
    • P1 or P2 licence
    • full licence with a Z condition (or otherwise have a zero BAC requirement), or
    • full licence and you're under 26 years of age
You will:



    • receive a fine
    • need to complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
    • have your licence or permit cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for at least 6 months
    • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months
BAC between .05 and .069
You have a:



    • have a full licence that doesn’t have a Z condition (or you’re otherwise have a zero BAC requirement)
    • you're 26 years of age or older
You will:



    • receive a fine
    • need to complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
    • have your licence cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for 3 months (if you were issued a traffic infringement notice (TIN))
    • be disqualified for at least 6 months (if imposed by the court)
    • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
BAC between .07 and less than .10
You will:




    • receive a fine
    • need to complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
    • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for 6 months
    • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months
BAC between .10 and less than .15
You will:




    • receive a fine
    • need to complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
    • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for at least 10 - 14 months
    • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months
BAC of over .15
You will:




    • receive a fine
    • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
    • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for at least 15-24 months
    • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months
Non-BAC offence (eg refusing to stop at a booze bus or refusing to be breath tested)

You will:




    • receive a fine
    • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
    • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for a period decided by the Court
    • have an alcohol interlock
Penalties for second or subsequent offences committed on or after 30 April 2018
Offence description
Penalties
  • BAC less than .15
  • Second or subsequent offence
You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 12-30 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for at least 12 months
  • BAC of .15 or more
  • Second or subsequent offence
You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a period determined by the Magistrates’ Court
  • have an alcohol interlock for a period determined by the Magistrates’ Court
Penalties for first offences committed before 30 April 2018
Offence description Penalties
BAC less than 0.05. You have a:

  • learner permit
  • P1 or P2 licence
You will:



    • receive a fine
    • have your licence or permit cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for 3 months
    • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months, managed by VicRoads.
BAC zero to less than 0.05.




    • You have a full licence with a Z condition (or you’re otherwise subject to a zero BAC requirement).
You will receive:



    • a fine
    • 10 demerit points.
BAC 0.05 to less than 0.07:




    • You have full licence and are 26 years or older
    • You aren’t subject to a zero BAC requirement
You will receive:



    • a fine
    • 10 demerit points.
BAC 0.05 to less than 0.07. You have a:




    • learner permit
    • P1 or P2 licence
    • full licence, and you’re under 26 years old
    • full licence with a Z condition
You will:




    • receive a fine
    • have your licence or permit cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for 6 months
    • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months, managed by VicRoads
BAC 0.07 to less than 0.10. You will:



    • receive a fine
    • have your licence or permit cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for 6 months
    • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum 6 months, managed by VicRoads.
BAC 0.10 to less than 0.15. You will need to go to court and will:



    • receive a fine
    • have your licence or permit cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for 10 - 14 months
    • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum 6 months.
BAC 0.15 or more. You will need to go to court and will:



    • receive a fine
    • have your licence or permit cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 15 months
    • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum 6 months.
Non-BAC drink-driving offence
You will need to go to court and will:



    • receive a fine
    • have your licence or permit cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for a period determined by the court
    • have an alcohol interlock period, with the period determined by the court.
Non road safety related offences that involve alcohol
(Community Sentencing Reform under Sentencing Act 1991)
You will need to go to court and may:



    • receive a fine
    • have your licence or permit cancelled
    • be disqualified from driving for a period determined by the court
    • have an alcohol interlock period, with the period determined by the court.
Penalties for second or subsequent offences committed before 30 April 2018
Offence
Penalties
Second BAC offence
Most recent BAC reading was less than .15
You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for period determined by the court
  • have an alcohol interlock period, with the period determined by the court.
Driving with a BAC
of .05 to less than .07 (first offence and you are 26 years or older)
You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 30 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 4 years.
Where the most recent offence was a non-BAC drink-driving offence (eg refusing to stop at a booze bus or refusing to be breath tested) You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for period determined by the court
  • have an alcohol interlock period determined by the court.
3 or more BAC offences You will need to go to court and may:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for period determined by the court
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 4 years.
Offences committed before 1 October 2014
If your offence was committed before 1 October 2014, different rules and penalties apply to you.

What is the law?
See Alcohol and other drugs for more information.

What are alcohol interlocks?
An alcohol interlock is a device that stops you from starting your vehicle if it detects alcohol in your breath. You need to blow into the interlock every time you start your vehicle and at different times during the trip.

In Victoria, alcohol interlocks are fitted to vehicles of drivers who have been convicted of a drink-driving offence. For more information visit Drink-driving offences.

What is the difference between licence suspension and cancellation?
If your driver licence or learner permit is suspended, you cannot drive for a specific period of time (e.g. 3 months). When this period has finished, your licence or permit becomes valid again.

If your driver licence or learner permit is cancelled, you cannot drive for a specific period (e.g. 12 months). When this period has finished, you will need to apply to VicRoads to get your driver licence/learner permit back. You may need to get a Licence Eligibility Order from a Magistrates’ Court first.

How do I get my driver licence or learner permit back?
See our Drink-driving offences for more information about getting your licence or learner permit back.

https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/safety-and-road-rules/road-rules/penalties/drink-driving-penalties

Since I live in Melbourne these laws apply all over Australia, how does/or does your country have laws against drinking and driving?

Or do you think our laws are too strict?
 

Tokhme khar

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Feb 25, 2017
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These hocus pocus articles.......the real issue in Australia post the mining boom bust is the lack of jobs and a high unemployment/ underemployment rates. Many Iranian skilled migrants who went to Australia a decade ago have long left. There's no uptick in sight as the global commodities industry stagnates and declines. This is the real issue.
 

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