Combined drink & drug-driving offences
Find out about the combined drink and drug-driving 'cocktail’ offence and how to get your driver licence back following a driving ban for this offence.
A combined drink and drug-driving offence has higher penalties than an individual drink-driving or drug-driving offence alone. These penalties and mandatory driver education programs help improve the safety of Victorian roads for all users, including our most vulnerable (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists).
To find out more specific details about the penalties that apply for a combined offence, where illicit drugs have been detected across the range of illegal blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) levels, refer to combined drink and drug-driving penalties.
The information below is a summary of the sanctions and fines provided within the new laws, and are subject to a Magistrate’s discretion. There is also information about what you need to do to get your driver licence and/or learner permit back following a driving ban for this offence.
About the combined drink and drug-driving ‘cocktail’ legislation
Two new offences were introduced from 1 August 2015. They are:
- driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle with an illegal blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) and the presence of any illicit drug in your blood or oral fluid; and
- providing a blood sample containing an illegal concentration of alcohol and any illicit drug within three hours of driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle.
These offences mean that a person can be charged with combined drink and drug-driving whether the offence was detected at the roadside or later through a blood sample. If you have been charged with this offence, you will be required to attend court.
- Maximum fine for a first offence is $4,664*
- Maximum fines for repeat offences range from $13,991 to $41,974 or up to 18 months imprisonment, depending on the number of offences and the BAC level detected
- Maximum fines for the combined offence will be:
- 50% higher than the maximum fines for drink-driving alone and
- at least 50% higher than the maximum fines for drug-driving alone.
* Based on 2015/2016 penalty unit value ($155.46) and rounded to the nearest dollar.
Licence cancellation/disqualification from driving
- Mandatory minimum 12 month licence cancellation/disqualification
- Longer minimum cancellation/disqualification periods apply for offences involving higher BAC levels or for repeat offences up to 60 months or more (magistrate’s discretion).
- First time offenders may have their vehicle immediately impounded or immobilised by police for BAC readings of 0.10 or more for a period of 30 days
- Repeat offenders may have their vehicle immediately impounded or immobilised by police for 30 days, plus additional time may be applied by the courts.
Driver education program
- You will be required to complete an accredited driver education program that includes drug-driving and drink-driving modules prior to being relicensed.
- This requirement to undertake a driver education program applies each time this offence is committed, not just for a first offence.
- For a directory of accredited driver education and assessment agencies who offer the combined drink and drug-driving education program:
- call DirectLine on 1800 888 236
Note: There may be waiting times to attend a program. Make allowance for this before booking your Licence Eligibility Order court hearing
Licence Eligibility Order
A Licence Eligibility Order (LEO) from the Magistrates' Court will be required.
Visit the following links from the Magistrate' Court of Victoria website to find out how to get a Licence Eligibility Order.
To get an LEO, attend a Magistrates’ Court and arrange a hearing at least 28 days before your driver licence/learner permit cancellation ends. The court will fix a hearing date at least 28 days ahead, but not before your cancellation ends.
Make sure you find out what documents are required for the hearing. You may be asked to have an interview with Victoria Police before the court hearing.
The court will decide whether to issue you with a Licence Eligibility Order.
Get your driver licence reissued
Once you have received your Licence Eligibility Order from the court you will need to visit a VicRoads Customer Service Centre to get your driver licence/learner permit reissued, you will need to bring with you:
- original Licence Eligibility Order
- original accredited driver education program certificate of completion
- original evidence of identity documents
- driver licence or learner permit reissue fee
If you have not held a current Australian or overseas driver licence in the last 5 years or need to reissue an expired motorcycle learner permit, you will also need to be retested before your driver licence or learner permit is issued. Visit Renew your licence or learner permit for information about what tests are required.
- As a driver or motorcycle rider whose driver licence and/or learner permit is cancelled due to the combined drink-drug-driving offence, you will be required to install an alcohol interlock in any vehicle you drive or ride as a condition of relicensing. The minimum alcohol interlock usage period is 6 months for a first offence and up to 4 years or more for repeat offences
- You will also be subject to a zero BAC licence condition for 3 years or any longer period during which an alcohol interlock condition applies to your driver licence and/or learner permit, consistent with the Victorian Alcohol Interlock program
- Your alcohol interlock usage and removal will be managed by the courts, not by VicRoads - even if your BAC level was less than 0.10. You will have to apply to the Magistrates' Court for an alcohol interlock Condition Removal Order (ICRO) hearing at the end of the alcohol interlock usage period defined by the court
- See Court Managed [from 1/10/14] for information about the Victorian Alcohol Interlock Program and program rules that apply to combined drink-drug-driving offences.