Drink driving is one of the biggest killers on Victoria's roads, with around 1 in 5 drivers and riders killed having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.05 (5 year average). Driving while under the influence of alcohol affects perception, vision, concentration, reaction time and causes drowsiness – all of which increase the chances of having an accident.
Alcohol can affect us in different ways from one day to the next – this means there's never a 'safe' amount to drink when you’re planning to drive.
The way to avoid drink driving is simple. If you're going to drink, plan not to drive. There are other options to getting home such as booking a taxi, uber, organising a designated driver or public transport.
If people avoid driving after drinking, the number of road fatalities could be reduced by up to 20%. The separation of drinking and driving is yet another demonstration of the “proof” as to how we are going to achieve a vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
From 30th April if you get caught drink driving at 0.05 or more you’ll:
- Need to pay a fine
- Lose your licence
- Need to complete a compulsory drink driver behaviour change program; and
- Need to get an alcohol interlock installed in any vehicle you drive (once re-licensed) for at least six months.
This also applies to commercial drivers who commit their first drink driving offence with a BAC under .05.
What we're doing about drink driving
As part of the Towards Zero Action Plan, we are:
- Introducing 10 new purpose-built drug and booze buses.
- Trialling ‘alco-gates’ - alcohol sensors linked to exit boom gates within a car park - to prevent drink drivers getting out onto the roads
- Fitting alcohol interlock devices (which stop a driver from starting the vehicle if they have been drinking) to all drink drivers' vehicles when they are relicensed. A Victorian study found a 79% reduction in drink-drive offending among repeat drink-drivers required to have an interlock fitted upon relicensing
- Tackling the wider issue of drink driving with better assessments and screening for alcohol problems, and more effective behaviour change programs.
- Looking at requirements for repeat offenders to have a zero blood alcohol limit for life
- Promoting the benefits of separating drinking from driving to all drivers, like planning ahead how to get home from a night out.