The upper limit for driving after drinking in Australia is 0.05-percent blood alcohol content. The amount of alcohol in the blood is determined by many factors including body weight, time elapsed since ingestion, and metabolism. Even one standard drink may be too much for some people to drive safely. Australia has instituted a tough drink driving policy, and the measures can be applied to boat operators or cyclists found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol. Penalties vary from state to state, but you can lose your license, lose points on your license, and receive fines or jail time.
Alcohol Consumption Causes Road Accidents and Death
The major cause of road accidents and vehicular death is drink driving. Operators need not be drunk to suffer reduced concentration and slowed reaction times. Alcohol is a drug that depresses reactions and decision-making times. People do not drive as competently under the influence, although it may appear they are unaffected. Australian police may stop any vehicle and require the driver to submit to a breath test. Fully licensed operators may be charged if the blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.05 per 100ml of blood. Under the right conditions, one drink can cause this level of blood alcohol content, so there is no safe level of alcohol consumption.
Drivers Must Avoid Drink Driving or Face Penalties
There are substantial penalties for those convicted of drink driving, but the worst penalty of all is the likelihood of an accident, which could cause death. Special license categories require a BAC no higher than 0.02 percent, which effectively means no alcohol at all. If you are going to drink, you must make arrangements for transportation or sleeping off the intoxication. These include designated drivers, taxis, drinking at home, or renting a room at the venue where you might drink. Time is the only factor that will allow the body to metabolise alcohol. Food, coffee, and cold showers create clean, wide-awake, well-fed drunks.
Guides are available that identify how much a moderate social drinker can drink and remain under the 0.05 BAC necessary for legal vehicle operation, but metabolism varies among individuals, and effects will not be the same for everyone. Provisional and learner drivers, including foreign visitors, must maintain an zero alcohol level.
Penalties for Drink Driving
Penalties for drink driving include fines, license point assessments, loss of license, and custodial sentences. Serious offences will require the driver to fit a breath-test interlocking mechanism on their vehicle after their license disqualification has passed. Penalties include immediate loss of license for six months for those drivers detected with a BAC between 0.08 and 0.149. BACs of 0.15 or higher result in a one-year loss of driving authorisation. Serious offences include refusing a breath test, driving with a BAC over 0.15, or receiving a second citation within five years of 0.08-BAC or above.