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  • Drink Driving & DUI Penalties in Victoria (VIC)

    Most of the ghastly road incidents/traffic offences have traces of drinking driving to them, and this is why Victoria comes tough on drink driving offenders. If you get caught drink driving with a Victorian state license, you are definitely in big trouble.

    Drink driving offences involve the operation of a motor vehicle with blood alcohol concentration levels above prescribed amounts. The stipulated amount is a BAC less than 0.05, except for those on a zero alcohol restriction (current offenders). The Transport Legislation Amendment (road safety, Rail and other matters) Act 2017 (VIC) governs all issues relating to traffic codes and offences.

    What are driving offences in Victoria?

    Many factors constitute a driving offence in Australia, especially the BAC levels when you are caught. However, other factors, including

    • Failing to take a breathing or blood test,
    • Damage from intoxicated driving
    • Racing out public officials

    These acts compound your Drink driving charges.

    Here are the various offences and their punishments depending on the BAC levels.

    First offenders;

    All first-time offenders get punishments depending on their license type, or if there was any aggravating issue. These punishments are modified to the new legislation that took effect from April 2018.

    BAC levels below 0.05

    Those with;

    • Learner permit
    • P or p2 licenses
    • Full licenses with a Z condition (often used to mean zero BAC requirements)

    Drivers with any of these licenses caught with such Blood alcohol levels will receive punishments of either of;

    • Fines
    • Have their driver license or learner's permit cancelled
    • 2,5 penalty points on their drivers license
    • Disqualified from driving for at least three months
    • Must complete a Drink Driver Behaviour change program
    • On re-issuance of their license, they must have an alcohol interlock device for a minimum of 6 months
    • Get a Zero BAC requirement for a minimum of three years.

    BAC levels 0.05 and 0.069

    All those, with any of the following types of license;

    • Learner permit
    • P or p2 licenses
    • Full licenses with a Z condition (often used to mean zero BAC requirements)
    • Full license and are older than 26

    The penalties for driving a vehicle at such BAC levels, the prescribed punishments are;

    • Fines
    • Cancellation of license or learner permit
    • Disqualified from driving for at least six months
    • 10 Demerit points to your Driver’s license
    • Must complete a Drink Driver Behaviour program Change program
    • VicRoads imposes an alcohol interlock device for a minimum of 6 months
    • Must drive at BAC levels of zero for the next three years

    BAC between 0.07 and 0.10

    All those with a full license caught driving with such BAC levels will;

    • Receive fines
    • Have their license or learner permit cancelled
    • Disqualified for at least six months
    • Must complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change program
    • Must drive their vehicles with an alcohol interlock device for a minimum of 6 months by VicRoads
    • Must drive at zero BAC levels for three years

    BAC between .10 and less than .15

    All those holding a full license or permit caught driving at such BAC levels will receive serious punishments. The court can pronounce the maximum punishments which includes;

    • Fines
    • Having your License or learner permit cancelled
    • Disqualified from driving for at least 14 months
    • Must complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change program
    • Get an Alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months imposed by VicRoads
    • Must drive at zero BAC requirements for a minimum of three years

    BAC greater than 0.15

    This is the most "serious" case of driving under the influence of alcohol. If the court finds you guilty of driving at such BAC levels, it can order the maximum punishments including;

    • Fines
    • Having your license or learner’s permit cancelled
    • Disqualified from driving for at least 15-24 months
    • Must complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour change program
    • Get an Alcohol interlock device on their vehicle for a minimum of 6 months, and monitored by VicRoads
    • Must drive with a zero BAC level for 3 years

    Non-BAC drink driving offences

    Not only drinking or driving under influence qualifies as a Drink Driving offence. Some other acts that constitute a drink driving offence are;

    • Refusing to stop at a booze bus
    • Refusing to take a breath test under the influence

    These offences usually result in a court summons, and may attract punishments of;

    • Fines
    • Having a license or learner permit cancelled
    • Court disqualification from driving
    • Must complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behavioral Change program
    • Have an alcohol interlock device installed by VicRoads for six months.
    • Must drive at zero BAC levels for a minimum of three years

    However for "serious" Non-BAC drink driving offences like;

    • Driving under the influence; other intoxicating substances (drugs, medication, etc)
    • Reckless driving actions leading to injury under the influence of intoxicating substances
    • Manslaughter involving the use of a motor vehicle where alcohol was a factor
    • Culpable driving causing death

    A driver charged with any of these offences must appear in court, and will;

    • Receive a fine, jail time or both
    • Have a license or learner permit cancelled for 15-48 months
    • Be disqualified from driving for at least 18 months
    • Must complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behavioural change program
    • Must install an Alcohol interlock for 6 months period as prescribed by the VicRoads

    Other punishments will apply in court where the Magistrate in Victoria may record a conviction against you plus an imprisonment term.

    Repeat offenders

    Victoria has some of the harshest t punishments for drink driving offenders. And the punishments are harsher for repeat offenders.

    Repeat offenders are those with another drink driving offence within 10 years of having a prior offence or conviction.

    The Spot suspension

    The Authorities on traffic matters in Victoria can suspend your license immediately in some situations. Some examples are;

    • Where a probationary driver or one with a learners permit is driving at BAC levels above 0.07,
    • Full license holders driving at BAC levels above .10
    • Repeat offenders, especially within a short period

    The period of suspension varies, and may even last until the court decides on the matter

    Do these penalties apply in other states?

    All those holding a Victoria driver license and are guilty of these offences even in other States and Territories will face the same penalties. The same punishments will apply as if they committed such offences in Victoria.

    The Road Safety Act 1986 provides other information on the safe use of roads in Victoria.

    Do Drink driving offences show in a Police Check result?

    A Police Check is an important document to most employers. It contains the convictions history of a person, especially those related to the purpose he or she applies for. A Police Check Victoria will reveal all traffic convictions and court sentencing you got whether they are for drink driving or not.

    You can get a national criminal check online through Australian National Character Check.

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