Drink and drug driving

Driving impaired by alcohol or drugs remains one of the biggest contributors to road trauma in Western Australia, with an average of 40 people killed in alcohol related crashes every year.

Alcohol increases the risk of a crash by affecting your ability to make safe decisions and judgements on the road.

Drink driving

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Alcohol increases the risk of a crash by affecting your ability to make safe decisions and judgements on the road.

If you plan to drink, plan not to drive. You could be over the limit and not know it. It's difficult to try and determine your own blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. Your BAC is affected by several factors, including:

  • The amount of alcohol you drink.
  • The period over which alcohol was consumed.
  • Your body mass.
  • Whether or not you have eaten.
  • Your fitness level and health of your liver.

Infringements for Drink Driving Offences

If you are caught driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) equal to or above 0.05 and less than 0.08, you can pay an infringement to avoid being prosecuted in court. For court penalties, see the tables in the next section.

BAC Infringement Demerits
≥ 0.05 but < 0.06 $1,000 3
≥ 0.06 but < 0.07 $1,000 4
≥ 0.07 but < 0.08 $1,000 5

Court Penalties for Drink Driving Offences

The following tables show the court penalties for drink driving offences. The penalties in these tables represent drivers who held a full licence at the time of the offence.

BAC ≥ 0.05 but < 0.07 Court Penalty
First Offence $1,250 (max)
(licence disqualification at Court's discretion)
Second Offence $1,250-$2,000
and
6 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $1,250-$2,000
and
8 months disqualification (min)

 

BAC ≥ 0.07 but < 0.08 Court Penalty
First Offence $1,250 (max)
(licence disqualification at Court's discretion)
Second Offence $1,500-$2,000
and
8 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $1,500-$2,000
and
10 months disqualification (min)

 

BAC ≥ 0.08 but < 0.09 Court Penalty
First Offence $750-$2,250
and
6 months disqualification (min)
Second Offence $1,600-$2,250
and
8 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $1,600-$2,250
and
10 months disqualification (min)

 

BAC ≥ 0.09 but < 0.11 Court Penalty
First Offence $850-$2,250
and
7 months disqualification (min)
Second Offence $1,700-$2,250
and
10 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $1,700-$2,250
and
13 months disqualification (min)

 

BAC ≥ 0.11 but < 0.13 Court Penalty
First Offence $1,000-$2,250
and
8 months disqualification (min)
Second Offence $1,800-$3,000
and
14 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $1,800-$3,000
and
17 months disqualification (min)

 

BAC ≥ 0.13 but < 0.15 Court Penalty
First Offence $1,150-$2,250
and
9 months disqualification (min)
Second Offence $2,400-$3,750
and
18 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $2,400-$4,500
and
30 months disqualification (min)

 

BAC ≥ 0.15 Court Penalty
First Offence (no relevant prior convictions)  $1,700-$3,750
and
10 months disqualification (min)
First Offence (previously convicted of a drink driving offence involving ≥ 0.08 BAC) $2,400-$3,750
and
18 months disqualification (min)
First Offence (previously convicted of a polydrug driving offence involving ≥ 0.08 BAC) $2,700-$3,750
and
27 months disqualification (min)
Second Offence $3,150-$5,250*
and
30 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $3,1500-$7,500**
and
disqualification for life

*Alternative to fine for second offence is 9 months imprisonment
**Alternative to fine for third and subsequent offences is 18 months imprisonment


Zero BAC Drivers

In Western Australia, some drivers are subject to a zero Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) when they are behind the wheel. Penalties apply to those drivers who exceed the zero BAC limit.

A zero BAC applies to:

  • Novice Drivers
  • Holders of Extraordinary licences
  • Recently Disqualified Drivers
  • Drivers of:
    • vehicles exceeding 22.5 tonne GCM
    • vehicles carrying dangerous goods (when such goods are being carried)
    • buses (while carrying passengers where the vehicle is equipped to carry more than 12 adults including the driver)
    • small charter vehicles (when carrying passengers for hire or reward)
    • taxis (when carrying passengers for hire or reward)
Offence Infringement Demerits Court penalty
BAC > 0 but < 0.02 $400 3 Demerits $400-$750
BAC ≥ 0.02 but < 0.05 - 3 months disqualification (min)* $400-$750

*If a novice driver is disqualified, the licence is cancelled. For all other licence holders, a disqualification will result in a suspension.


WA Alcohol Interlock Scheme

An alcohol interlock is a breath testing device which, when installed in a vehicle or motorcycle, prevents it from being operated if a breath sample reads above a certain amount of alcohol.

The WA Alcohol Interlock Scheme aims to reduce the road safety risk posed by drink drivers. It is a mandatory, user pays, performance-based scheme in which alcohol interlock devices provide separation of drinking and driving behaviour.

In WA, interlocks are mandatory for drivers who:

  • Are convicted of driving with a BAC 0.15 or over.
  • Are convicted of dangerous driving causing death, bodily harm or grievous bodily harm, where they're under the influence of alcohol to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of a vehicle.
  • Commit a second drink driving offence of any kind within 5 years.
  • Fail to comply with a request to provide a breath sample to a member of WA Police.

The Department of Transport website provides more information on the Alcohol Interlock Scheme.

Drug driving

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People who take drugs before driving or riding on our roads put themselves, their passengers and other road users at risk of road trauma.

Different drugs have different effects on your driving skills and ability to make good decisions on the road.

Some drugs such as marijuana, slow your reaction time and impair your ability to judge speed and distance.

Other drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine can result in erratic, reckless and aggressive driver behaviour.

Some prescription medications can have side effects that impair your driving skills and can result in drowsiness and slow your reactions.  Talk to your GP or pharmacist about whether your prescription or over the counter medication could affect your ability to drive safely. For more, see our Medicines and Driving Fact Sheet (PDF 125kb).

Taking any drug before driving increases the risk of a crash that results in road trauma.

Driving with Specified Drugs in Oral Fluid

Police have the power to stop drivers suspected of driving while impaired by any drug. Those found with specified drugs (Cannabis, Ecstasy or Meth) in their oral fluid can be charged with the offence of Driving with Specified Drugs in Oral Fluid.

Driving with Specified Drugs in Oral Fluid Court Penalty
First Offence $1,250 (max)
and
3 Demerits
Second
OR
Subsequent Offence
$1,250-$2,000
and
6 months disqualification (min)

Drug Impaired Driving

The more serious offence of Drug Impaired Driving, or Driving under the Influence of Drugs, applies to drivers found to be so impaired by either prescription or illicit drugs that they are not capable of proper control of a vehicle. This applies where police have evidence of suspicious or erratic driving behaviour and where that suspicion is confirmed following a driver assessment and/or blood tests.

Drug Impaired Driving Court Penalty
First Offence $1,700-$3,750
and
10 months disqualification (min)
Second Offence $3,150-$5,250*
and
30 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $3,150-$7,500**
and
disqualification for life

*Alternative to fine for second offence is 9 months imprisonment
**Alternative to fine for third and subsequent offences is 18 months imprisonment


Drug Driving Prohibition Notices

WA Police will issue drivers who test positive for specified drugs (Cannabis, Ecstasy or Meth) or refuse a roadside drug test with a prohibition notice which bans them from driving for 24 hours.

Breaching the prohibition notice is an offence. Police may issue an infringement notice with a penalty of $600.

Drink and drug driving

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Tough penalties apply for any driver or rider caught driving with both drugs and an illegal level of alcohol in their system.

Motorists who refuse to provide samples for drug and alcohol testing will be hit with the highest penalty for the relevant substance impaired driving offences (drink driving, drug driving, or drink and drug driving).

Drink and Drug Driving Penalties

Illicit drug and BAC ≥ 0.05 but < 0.07 Court Penalty
First Offence $1,900 (max)
and
3 months disqualification (min)
Second Offence $1,900-$3,000
and
9 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $1,900-$3,000
and
12 months disqualification (min)

 

Illicit drug and BAC ≥ 0.07 but < 0.08 Court Penalty
First Offence $1,900 (max)
and
3 months disqualification (min)
Second Offence $2,250-$3,000
and
12 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $2,250-$3,000
and
15 months disqualification (min)

 

Illicit drug and BAC ≥ 0.08 but < 0.09 Court Penalty
First Offence $1,150-$3,400
and
9 months disqualification (min)
Second Offence $2,400-$3,400
and
12 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $2,400-$3,400
and
15 months disqualification (min)

 

Illicit drug and BAC ≥ 0.09 but < 0.11 Court Penalty
First Offence $1,300-$3,400
and
11 months disqualification (min)
Second Offence $2,550-$3,400
and
15 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $2,550-$3,400
and
20 months disqualification (min)

 

Illicit drug and BAC ≥ 0.11 but < 0.13 Court Penalty
First Offence $1,500-$3,400
and
12 months disqualification (min)
Second Offence $2,700-$4,500
and
21 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $2,700-$4,500
and
26 months disqualification (min)

 

Illicit drug and BAC ≥ 0.13 but < 0.15 Court Penalty
First Offence $1,750-$3,400
and
14 months disqualification (min)
Second Offence $3,600-$5,650
and
27 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $3,600-$6,750
and
42 months disqualification (min)

 

Illicit drug and BAC ≥ 0.15 Court Penalty
First Offence (no relevant prior convictions) $2,050-$5,650
and
15 months disqualification (min)
First Offence (previously convicted of a drink driving offence involving ≥ 0.08 BAC) $2,400-$5,650
and
18 months disqualification (min)
First Offence (previously convicted of a polydrug offence involving ≥ 0.08 BAC) $3,600-$5,650
and
27 months disqualification (min)
Second Offence $4,750-$7,900*
and
42 months disqualification (min)
Subsequent Offence $4,750-$11,250**
and
disqualification for life

*Alternative to fine for second offence is 9 months imprisonment
**Alternative to fine for third and subsequent offences is 18 months imprisonment

Announcements

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Drug driving reforms

Drug drivers will face an immediate 24-hour driving suspension under tough new rules to take effect from February 26.
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Not worth it

This campaign challenges the belief that feeling okay is an inaccurate measure of intoxication and raises the consciousness of the consequences.
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Drink Driving? Grow Up

To reduce trauma on our roads, ‘anti-drink driving education’ needs to be constant.
Page reviewed 13 October 2021