Drink Driving

To date, the State Government’s ‘anti-drink driving education campaigns’ have been effective in reducing trauma on our roads. But what do we do about the 14% of WA drivers who despite having the right attitude of knowing the danger of drink driving, still irregularly or regularly offend? This campaign talks to this audience.
 

Penalties

Please visit the road rules and penalties section for information on drink driving laws.

WA Alcohol Interlock Scheme

Western Australia introduced an Alcohol Interlock Scheme on 24 October 2016.

With the aim of reducing the road safety risk posed by drink drivers on WA roads, this scheme will be user-pays and apply to high-end and repeat drink drivers.

What is an Alcohol Interlock?

An alcohol interlock stops a vehicle starting if the driver (or rider) has been drinking. This technology helps people to separate drinking from driving.

An alcohol interlock is a breath testing device which, when installed in a vehicle or motorcycle, prevents it from being operated if a breath sample reads above a certain amount of alcohol.

Why Change the Rules?

Despite 20 years of anti-drink driving messaging, alcohol remains a factor in a quarter of fatal crashes.

Alcohol interlock schemes already in place across Australia and around the world have proven to reduce repeat drink driving by approximately 64%.

Based on WA drink driving offences, it is expected that between 4,000 and 6,000 drink drivers will be required to fit an alcohol interlock to their vehicles in WA each year.

How Does the Alcohol Interlock Scheme Legislation Work?

As of 24 October 2016, interlocks are now mandatory for drivers who:

  • are convicted of driving with a BAC 0.15 or over;
  • are convicted of dangerous driving causing death, bodily harm or greivous bodily harm, where they're under the influence of alcohol to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of a vehicle;
  • commit a second drink driving offence of any kind within 5 years;
  • fail to comply with a request to provide a breath sample to a member of WA Police.

This is a representation of the legislation only - please see the Comprehensive Q&A for more detail.

The penalties associated with the Alcohol Interlock Scheme are additional to existing fines and disqualifications for alcohol-related offences.

After an offender has served the applicable disqualification period, their licence will be endorsed with an alcohol interlock condition.

What Will it Cost You?

Each individual on the Alcohol Interlock Scheme must cover all costs for use of the interlock device including: installation, rental, servicing and removal costs.

The total estimated cost over six months is $1,600. This estimate is subject to change. In some circumstances further costs may apply - see the Comprehensive Q&A for more detail.

Alcohol Assessment and Treatment

Drivers assigned to the Alcohol Interlock Scheme who breach the requirements may be required to attend alcohol assessment and treatment.

Alcohol assessment and treatment includes six one hour sessions with a trained alcohol and other drug counsellor, aimed to help support the driver to separate alcohol use from driving.

For more information on alcohol assessment and treatment, please see page 10 of the Comprehensive Q&A for more detail.

Fact Sheets


 
Alcohol Interlocks Campaign Sep – Nov 2016

Alcohol Interlocks Campaign Sep – Nov 2016

Staying Under 0.05

It is best if you don't drink anything before driving. 

Determining your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is difficult as it is affected by a number of factors, including:

  • the amount of alcohol you drink
  • the period over which alcohol was consumed
  • your body mass
  • ​whether or not you have eaten
  • your fitness levels
  • the health of your liver.

If you do have a drink, as a guide: 

  • men should not drink more than 2 standard drinks in the first hour and 1 standard drink every following hour. 
  • women should not drink more than 1 standard drink every hour. 

Note: Learner and provisional drivers must have a zero BAC when driving.

How Much is a Standard Drink?

Mid strength beer glass 3-4% Alc/Vol 0.8 standard drink per 285 ml
Mid strength beer can 3-4% Alc/Vol 1 standard drink per 375 ml
Wine 10-14% Alc/Vol 1 standard drink per 100 ml
Spirits 37-43% Alc/Vol 1 standard drink per 30 ml
Pre-mixed drinks 5% Alc/Vol 1.5 standard drinks per 375ml
Full strength beer glass 4-6% Alc/Vol 1 standard drink per 285ml
Full strength beer can 4-6% Alc/Vol 1.5 standard drinks per 375ml

Community Resources

Community Resource 1
It doesn’t take much to put you over the limit. For men, it’s no more than 2 standard drinks in the first hour and 1 each hour following. For women, it’s no more than 1 per hour. Plan ahead. Don’t drink and drive.Download
Community Resource 2
It doesn’t take much to put you over the limit. For men, it’s no more than 2 standard drinks in the first hour and 1 each hour following. For women, it’s no more than 1 per hour. Plan ahead. Don’t drink and drive.Download