Drug Driving

The effects of illicit and prescription drugs on drivers vary, from giving the driver false confidence to slowing down reaction times, ultimately putting others at risk.

In Western Australia, drivers can be subject to roadside drug tests, with the aim to reduce the risk posed by drug drivers on WA roads.

Driving under the influence of illicit or prescription drugs impairs your ability to operate your vehicle safely and puts other road users at risk.

The effects drugs have on your driving ability include the following:
 
  • Gives the driver a false confidence, increasing risk-taking behaviour.
  • Slows the driver's reaction time.
  • Distorts the driver's visual perceptions.
  • Decreases ability to coordinate reaction when driving.
  • Causes the driver difficulty in judging distances.
  • Can increase the risk of having a crash.

Drug Driving Penalties

Police have the power to stop drivers suspected of driving while impaired by any drug and those found with illicit drugs in their oral fluid can be charged with the offence of Driving with Prescribed Illicit Drug in Oral Fluid.

Offence Court Penalty
Minimum Maximum Demerits OR
Licence Disqualification
First Offence N/A $500 3 demerits
Second OR
Subsequent Offence
$500 $1,000 6 months minimum disqualification


Drivers found to be impaired by prescribed or illicit drugs will be prosecuted for a more serious offence; Drug Impaired Driving under the Influence of Drugs.

These offences apply where police have evidence of suspicious or erratic driving behaviour and where that suspicion is confirmed following a driver assessment and/or blood tests.

Offence Court Penalty
Minimum Maximum Licence Disqualification
First Offence $900 $2,500 10 months minimum
Second Offence $2,100 $3,500 or,
9 months imprisonment
30 months minimum
Subsequent Offence $2,100 $5,000 or,
18 months imprisonment
Life

Drug Aware website Mental Health Commission