Any alcohol at all will affect your ability to drive. In Australia, it is an offence to drive while your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.05 or above. In other words, the legal limit (the limit you must not exceed) is under 0.05. If you are a learner (L-plate), provisional (P-plate) or professional driver (including heavy truck and bus drivers, taxi drivers and drivers of dangerous goods vehicles), the legal limit is zero.

We offer Drink Driver Re-education courses to help you get your drivers licence back.

Standard Drink Sizes

Most consumed drinks hold more than 1 standard drink. Be aware of the alcohol content and amount of alcohol you consume in each glass or container.

The following items are number according to the standard drinks they contain. Labels on alcoholic drink containers state the number of Standard Drinks in the container.

Amounts for only 1 Standard Drink

The following amounts are a guide for 1 standard drink based on the alcohol content. These are calculated based on the formula supplied by the Department of Health and Ageing (reference).

Reducing Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

As soon as you start drinking, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) begins to rise and takes 30 to 60 minutes after you have stopped drinking to reach its highest concentration. However, it could take up to two hours before your BAC peaks, especially if you have eaten a substantial meal at the same time. Alcohol is eliminated from the liver at a rate of around 10 grams per hour or 1 standard drink. This can vary depending on a number of factors.

Drinking rule of thumb

The rule of thumb is an easy way to help you count your drinks to keep your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) under 0.05. Remember the ‘rule of thumb’ is a rough guide only and is based on the average 70kg male and 50kg female, your BAC can be affected by numerous factors. For Men: No more than two standard drinks in the first hour and one standard drink each hour after that. * For Women: No more than one standard drink each hour. * * Although this is a conservative estimate designed to minimise the risk of exceeding the legal limit, some people (especially women) may need to take even further precautions when pacing their drinks. One way of accurately measuring your BAC at any given time is by a blood test but you can test yourself on a Standards Australia approved breath test machine as a guide.

Avoid a fine or licence disqualification

  • Allow enough time after drinking for your body to process the alcohol and reduce your BAC, or avoid driving all together to be safe.
  • Take a taxi, and remember to leave enough money for the ride home after a night out (perhaps keep a few spare notes in another pocket so you won’t spend it). Store the taxi number in your mobile beforehand.
  • Stay over at a friends place after drinking, preferably arranging prior to going out.
  • Arrange for somebody to pick you up after drinking.

Other tips

  • Eat before or during drinking
  • Drink non alcoholic beverages to start or in between
  • Don’t eat salty snacks
  • Avoid shouts
  • Mix your own drinks and try more mix than normal
  • Don’t mix drinks
  • Don’t top up
  • Don’t hold your drink between sips
  • Keep track of your drinks – Pot card, Pull rings, bottle tops
  • Take enough money for the amount of drinks you intend to have
  • Try light alcoholic drinks
  • Use coin operated breathalysers if available but be wary!!!!