TAC encourages people to separate drinking and driving

A police officer breath tests a driver pulled over to the side of the roadThe TAC is encouraging everyone to separate drinking and driving entirely, rather than judging whether they are okay to drive after a few drinks.

Drinking. Driving. They're better apart.“If you drink and drive, you’re a bloody idiot” has become part of our vernacular in Victoria, since 1989 when the TAC's first drink drive ads came on the TV. Yet, drink driving is still a road safety issue - we’re due for another shift in our behaviour and attitudes. Drinking and driving are better kept apart.

We encourage people to get into the habit of separating the two behaviours rather than judging after a few drinks if they’re okay to drive. Planning ahead takes the risk of driving after drinking out of the equation. If you know you’ll be drinking, leave the car at home and get a taxi, catch public transport or arrange a designated driver.

40 years of breath testing reminds us zero is possible

People’s attitudes towards drink driving have changed since the first breath test in a ‘puff bag’ in 1976. In the 40 years since, thousands of lives have been saved and the progress we’ve made in changing attitudes shows us that while a vision of zero deaths and serious injuries is ambitious, it’s also possible.

Victoria Police first conducted random breath testing in July 1976.  In 1977, 49% of drivers and riders killed had a blood alcohol level (BAC) above 0.05, but by 2014 this had dropped to 15%. Victoria was the first Australian state to introduce random breath testing and today, 4 million tests are conducted each year.

We’re getting tougher on drink driving

Most people tested (99.7%) don’t exceed legal BAC levels. Yet we still see drivers and riders killed with a BAC more than 0.05. As well as encouraging behaviour change, we’re tackling drink driving in new ways. As part of the Towards Zero Action Plan we'll see more booze buses, alcohol interlock devices for all drink drivers, trials of alco-gates and more.

Find out more about how we’re targeting drink driving to reduce road trauma.