Drink and Drug Driving

What Is Drink And/Or Drug Driving?

If you drive, or attempt to drive, a vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, which exceeds the prescribed amount, you will be committing a drink/drug driving offence.

The ‘prescribed amount’ is calculated by an alcotest or breath test analysis. This test is conducted by blowing into a device which measures the blood-alcohol concentration on your breath.

If the results of the breath test show that your blood alcohol concentration is at or above .05 grams in 100 milliliters of blood, you are above the prescribed amount.

If your blood alcohol content is broken down into 3 categories. The category which your offending relates will determine what possible sentence a court may impose.

Must I Submit To A Breath Test By Police?

Yes. The law allows uniformed police to give alcotests or breath test analysis to persons operating a motor vehicle. You must comply with directions of a police officer when a breath test is being given. If you do not comply with police directions when giving a breath test, you may be liable to pay a fine and will instantly lose your licence.

Will I Instantly Lose My Licence?

There are three instances where you may instantly lose your licence:
1. When the results of your alcotest or breath test analysis is 0.08 or more
2. If you refuse to submit to an alcotest or breath test analysis by a police officer
3. If you refuse to submit to the taking or sampling of blood by a police officer

If you fit into one of the above categories you will be given a notice of disqualification or suspension.

The disqualification will commence at the time you are given the notice. i.e. at the time of the offence. Once you receive this notice you are no longer legally able to drive.

The time of disqualification will continue until a period of disqualification is determined by the Court.

It is important that you do not drive whilst disqualified. It is a serious offence that can often result in a term of imprisonment. If you have been charged with driving disqualified, you should contact our team immediately.

Once the time period for which you are not allowed to drive has finished, you should not immediately begin driving again. You will need to re-register your licence with Transport SA before you can drive. You will not be given a notice of when you are able to do this. In other words, you must take responsibility for when you are eligible to have your licence re-issued.

If you have lost your licence as a result of one of the above three reasons, you will also be required to install an alcohol interlock device into your car before being able to legally operate a vehicle.

If I Have Not Instantly Lost My Licence, Do I Stop Driving?

If you are not instantly disqualified, you may receive one or a combination of the below penalties:
1. A Fine
2. Loss of Demerit Points
3. Licence Disqualification

If you do not receive a notice of instant disqualification, a notice may be sent to you via post. This notice will instruct if and when you should cease to drive a motor vehicle.

What Penalties Can I Expect If I Drink Or Drug Drive?

Drink Driving Offences
FINE DEMERIT POINTS LICENCE DISQUALIFICATION
First Offence Category 1
(0.05 – 0.079)
Up to $700
($147 if the offence is expiated)
4 Demerit Points If the offence is not expiated (i.e. if you do not receive an on-the-spot fine) the court will impose licence disqualification of at least 3 months.
Category 2
(0.08 – 0.149)
$500-$900 5 Demerit Points Automatic licence disqualification of at least 6 months
Category 3
(0.15 and above)
$700-$1200 6 Demerit Points Automatic licence disqualification of at least 12 months
Second Offence Category 1
(0.05 – 0.079)
Up to $700 4 Demerit Points Licence disqualification of at least 6 months
Category 2
(0.08 – 0.149)
$700-$1200 5 Demerit Points Automatic licence disqualification of at least 12 months
Category 3
(0.15 and above)
$1200-$2000 6 Demerit Points Automatic licence disqualification of at least 3 years
Third Offence Category 1
(0.05 – 0.079)
Up to $700 4 Demerit Points Licence disqualification of at least 9 months
Category 2
(0.08 – 0.149)
$1100-$1800 5 Demerit Points Automatic licence disqualification of at least 2 years
Category 3
(0.15 and above)
$1500-$2500 6 Demerit Points Automatic licence disqualification of at least 3 years
Subsequent Offence Category 1
(0.05 – 0.079)
Up to $700 4 Demerit Points Licence disqualification of at least 12 months
Category 2
(0.08 – 0.149)
$1100-$1800 5 Demerit Points Automatic licence disqualification of at least 2 years
Category 3
(0.15 and above)
$1500-$2500 6 Demerit Points Automatic licence disqualification of at least 3 years
Drug Driving Offences
FINE DEMERIT POINTS LICENCE DISQUALIFICATION
First Offence $500-$900
($300 if the offence is expiated)
4 Demerit Points Licence disqualification of at least 3 months
Second Offence $700-$1200 4 Demerit Points Licence disqualification of at least 6 months
Third Offence $1100-$1800 4 Demerit Points Licence disqualification of at least 12 months
Subsequent Offence $1100-$1800 4 Demerit Points Licence disqualification of at least 2 years