Combined drink & drug-driving penalties

Drivers in Victoria face harsh penalties if they are caught driving with illicit drugs in their system and alcohol over the legal limit.

The penalties reflect the seriousness of these offences and the increased danger and risks posed by offending drivers on our roads.

You can be given a penalty for:

  • driving or being in charge of a vehicle with an illegal Blood or Breath Alcohol Concentration  (BAC) and the presence of any illicit drug in your blood or oral fluid
  • 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
  • refusing to cooperate with police.

You can be charged with combined drink & drug-driving whether the offence was detected at the roadside (through a saliva screening test) or later through a blood or urine sample.

What happens if I fail a roadside test?

If you fail a roadside drug test and/or a roadside breath test, you may face penalties.

What is saliva testing?

Saliva testing is used for roadside screening of illicit drugs. To give a saliva sample, you'll be asked to place the collecting device in your mouth or touch it with your tongue.

The sample is then tested for drugs. This takes about five minutes. If the screening test shows there are drugs in your system, you'll be required to have further tests. Your saliva sample will also be tested by a laboratory. If the laboratory results confirm that drugs were in your system you will be charged and face penalties.

On the spot suspension

The police also have the power to immediately suspend your driver licence and/or learner permit if they charge you with certain drink and/or drug-driving offences. This suspension lasts until your charges have been decided in court.


Offence description  Penalties

BAC less than .10 & drugs

You will:

  • go to court
  • receive a fine of up to 30 penalty units 
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 12 months
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for at least 6 months.
BAC .10 to less than .15 & drugs  

You will:

  • go to court
  • receive a fine of up to 30 penalty units
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 16-20 months
  • face 30 days of immediate vehicle impoundment, at police discretion
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for at least 6 months.
BAC of more than .15 & drugs 

You will: 

  • go to court
  • receive a fine of up to 90 penalty units, or 6 months imprisonment
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 21-30 months
  • face 30 days of immediate vehicle impoundment, at police discretion
  • need to use have an alcohol interlock for at least 6 months. 

Offence description Penalties

BAC less than .05 & drugs

You have a:

  • learner permit
  • P1 or P2 licence
  • full licence with a Z condition
    (or you’re otherwise subject to a zero BAC requirement).

You will:

  • go to court
  • receive a fine of up to 90 penalty units, or 6 months imprisonment
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 24 months
  • face 30 days of immediate vehicle impoundment, at police discretion
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for at least 12 months. 
BAC of .05 to less than .10 & drugs

You will:

  • go to court
  • receive a fine of up to 90 penalty units, or 6 months imprisonment
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 24-30 months
  • face 30 days of immediate vehicle impoundment, at police discretion
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for at least 12 months. 
BAC of .10 and less than .15 & drugs 

You will:

  • go to court
  • receive a fine of 90 penalty units, or 6 months imprisonment
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 32-40 months
  • face 30 days of immediate vehicle impoundment, at police discretion
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for at least 12 months. 
BAC of .15 or more & drugs

You will:

  • go to court
  • receive a fine of up to 180 penalty units, or 12 months imprisonment
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 42-60 months
  • face 30 days of immediate vehicle impoundment, at police discretion
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for at least 4 years.

Offence description Penalties

BAC of less than .05 & drugs

You have a:

  • learner permit
  • P1 or P2 licence
  • full licence with a Z condition (or you’re otherwise subject to a zero BAC requirement).

You will:

  • go to court
  • receive a fine of up to 180 penalty units, or 12 months imprisonment
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 2 years
  • face 30 days of immediate vehicle impoundment, at police discretion. The Court might decide to extend this 30 days, or take your vehicle permanently.
BAC of .05 to less than .10 & drugs

You will:

  • go to court 
  • receive a fine of up to 180 penalty units, or 12 months imprisonment 
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program 
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled 
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 24-30 months 
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for at least 4 years 
  • face 30 days of immediate vehicle impoundment, at police discretion. The court might decide to extend this 30 days, or take your vehicle permanently.
BAC of .10 to less than .15 & drugs

You will:

  • go to court
  • receive a fine of up to 180 penalty units, or 12 months imprisonment
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 32-40 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for at least 4 years
  • need to use 30 days of immediate vehicle impoundment, at police discretion. The court might decide to extend this 30 days, or take your vehicle permanently.
BAC of .15 or more & drugs

You will:

  • go to court
  • receive a fine of up to 270 penalty units, or 18 months imprisonment
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 42-60 months
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for at least 4 years
  • face 30 days of immediate vehicle impoundment, at police discretion. The court might decide to extend this 30 days, or take your vehicle permanently.

You’ll need to complete a Driver Education Program if:

  • you were under 25 when you committed the offence, or
  • directed to do so by the Magistrates' Court. 

Refer to Behaviour Change Program providers to arrange to complete the program.

Offence description Penalties

BAC 0.01 to less than 0.05 BAC & drugs

You have a:

  • learner permit
  • P1 or P2 licence
  • full licence with a Z condition (or you’re otherwise subject to a zero BAC).
You will:
  • go to court 
  • receive a fine of up to 30 penalty units
  • have your driver licence/learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 12 months
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
BAC .05 to less than .10 BAC & drugs You will:
  • go to court 
  • receive a fine of up to 30 penalty units
  • have your driver licence/learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 12 months
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
BAC .10 to less than .15 BAC & drugs You will:
  • go to court 
  • receive a fine of up to 30 penalty units
  • have your driver licence/learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 16 - 20 months
  • face 30 days immediate vehicle impoundment at police discretion  
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
BAC 0.15 or more & drugs You will:
  • go to court 
  • receive a fine of up to 30 penalty units
  • have your driver licence/learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 21 - 30 months
  • face 30 days immediate vehicle impoundment at police discretion  
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.

Offence description Penalties
BAC .01 to less than .05 BAC & drugs

You have a:

  • learner permit
  • P1 or P2 licence
  • full licence with a Z condition (or you’re otherwise subject to a zero BAC requirement).
You will:
  • go to court 
  • receive a fine of up to 90 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment
  • have your driver licence/learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 24 months
  • face 30 days immediate vehicle impoundment at police discretion & additional court imposed time
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 12 months.
BAC .05 to less than .10 BAC & drugs You will:
  • go to court
  • receive a fine of up to 90 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment
  • have your driver licence/learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 24 - 30 months
  • face 30 days immediate vehicle impoundment at police discretion & additional court imposed time
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 12 months.
BAC .10 to less than .15 BAC & drugs You will:
  • go to court 
  • receive a fine of up to 90 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment
  • have your driver licence/learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 32 - 40 months
  • face 30 days immediate vehicle impoundment at police discretion & additional court imposed time
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 12 months.
BAC .15 or more & drugs You will:
  • go to court 
  • receive a fine of up to 180 penalty units or 12 months imprisonment
  • have your driver licence/learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 42 - 60 months
  • face 30 days immediate vehicle impoundment at police discretion & additional court imposed time
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 4 years.

You’ll need to complete a Driver Education Program if:

  • you were under 25 when you committed the offence, or
  • directed to do so by the Magistrates' Court. 

Refer to Behaviour Change Program providers to arrange to complete the program.

Offence description Penalties

BAC .01 to less than .05 BAC & drugs

You have a:

  • learner permit
  • P1 or P2 licence
  • full licence with a Z condition (or you’re otherwise subject to a zero BAC).
You will:
  • go to court 
  • receive a fine of up to 180 penalty units or 12 months imprisonment
  • have your driver licence/learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 24 months
  • face 30 days immediate vehicle impoundment at police discretion & additional court imposed time or vehicle forfeiture
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 4 years.
BAC .05 to less than .10 BAC & drugs You will:
  • go to court 
  • receive a fine of up to 180 penalty units or 12 months imprisonment
  • have your driver licence/learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 24 – 30 months
  • face 30 days immediate vehicle impoundment at police discretion & additional court imposed time or vehicle forfeiture
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 4 years.
BAC .10 to less than .15 BAC & drugs You will:
  • go to court 
  • receive a fine of up to 180 penalty units or 12 months imprisonment
  • have your driver licence/learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 32 – 40 months
  • face 30 days immediate vehicle impoundment at police discretion & additional court imposed time or vehicle forfeiture
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 4 years.
BAC .15 or more & drugs You will:
  • go to court 
  • receive a fine of up to 270 penalty units or 18 months imprisonment
  • have your driver licence/learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 42 – 60 months
  • face 30 days immediate vehicle impoundment at police discretion & additional court imposed time or vehicle forfeiture
  • need to use an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 4 years.


What’s a penalty unit?

The value of a penalty unit changes each financial year and is published on the Department of Justice and Regulation website

The amount of the fine is the value of a penalty unit multiplied by the number of penalty units for the offence. For repeat combined drink & drug-driving offences, this can mean a fine of over $40,000.

What happens if I refuse to cooperate with police?

You'll receive even harsher penalties if you refuse to cooperate with testing requirements or refuse to give a saliva, breath, blood or urine sample.

What is the law?

See Alcohol and other drugs road rules for more information.

What is the difference between licence suspension and cancellation?

If your driver licence or learner permit is suspended, you cannot drive for a specific period of time (e.g. 3 months). When this period has finished, your licence or permit becomes valid again.

If your driver licence or learner permit is cancelled, you cannot drive for a specific period (e.g. 12 months) and you will need to apply to VicRoads to get your driver licence/learner permit back. You may need to get a Licence Eligibility Order from a Magistrates Court first.

How do I get my driver licence or learner permit back?

See Combined drink and drug-driving offences for more information about getting your driver licence or learner permit back.

What’s involved in completing the Behaviour Change Program?

Visit  Behaviour Change Program (External link) for more information about the Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Program.

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