Drink-driving penalties

Drivers face harsh penalties if they are caught driving while affected by alcohol over the legal limit.

Changes to drink-driving penalties

The Victorian Alcohol Interlock Program has expanded with alcohol interlocks now mandatory for more drink-driving offences. From 1 October 2014 more licence and learner permit cancellations will be issued for a broader range of drink-driving blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels.

Visit Changes to the alcohol interlock program or download the Getting your licence back [PDF 361kb] brochure for more information.

To find out about the penalties that apply for combined drink and drug-driving offences visit Combined drink and drug-driving penalties for more information.

Penalties for drink-drivers

Those caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit face heavy fines, loss of licence and, for the most serious offenders, possible imprisonment.

The penalties for drink-driving differ depending on:

  • the type of offence you committed
  • when you committed the offence 
  • your age at the time of the offence
  • the licence or permit you held
  • if it wasn't your first offence.
Offence description Penalties
BAC zero to less than 0.05:
  • learner or probationary
  • full licence holder subject to zero BAC
You will receive:
  • a fine
  • 10 demerit points.
BAC 0.05 to less than 0.07:
  • full licence holder older than 26 years old and not subject to zero BAC requirements
You will receive:
  • a fine
  • 10 demerit points.
 BAC 0.05 to less than 0.07:
  • learner or probationary
  • full licence holder subject to zero BAC
  • full licence holder less than 26 years old
 You will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for 6 months.
BAC 0.07 to less than 0.10:
  • learner or full licence holder less than 26 years old
  • probationary driver
You will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving
    for 6 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
BAC 0.07 to less than 0.10:
  • full licence holder 26 years or older
  • learner 26 years old or older
You will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving
    for 6 months
  • have an alcohol interlock, with the period determined by the court.
BAC 0.10 to less than 0.15:
  • learner and full licence holders less than 26 years old
  • probationary driver
You will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving
    for 10 - 14 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
BAC 0.10 to less than 0.15:
  • full licence holder 26 years or older
  • learner 26 years old or older
You will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving
    for 10 - 14 months
  • have an alcohol interlock, with the period determined by the court.
BAC 0.15 or more:
  • All drivers
You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving
    for a minimum of 15 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
Non-BAC drink-driving offence - (See Note 1 below)
You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for a period determined by the court
  • have an alcohol interlock, with the period determined by the court.
Non road safety related offences that involve alcohol
(Community Sentencing Reform under Sentencing Act 1991)
You will need to go to court and may:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for a period determined by the court
  • have an alcohol interlock, with the period determined by the court.

* Presuming a TIN is issued and no notice of objection. Possible different penalties if case is heard in court. 

Note 1: Non-BAC drink driving offences include:

  • DUI (driving or being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle).
  • Refusing to provide a test sample.
  • Refusing to stop at a breath testing station or to co-operate in the conduct of a test.
  • Manslaughter involving the use of a motor vehicle where alcohol was a contributing factor.
  • Culpable driving causing death where alcohol was a contributing factor.
  • Dangerous driving causing death or serious injury where alcohol was a contributing factor.
  • Negligently causing serious injury involving the use of a motor vehicle where alcohol was a contributing factor.
  • Negligent driving involving police pursuit.
  • Stealing or attempting to steal a vehicle.

On the spot suspension

Authorities have the power to immediately suspend your driver licence or learner permit in certain situations, e.g. learner or probationary drivers with a BAC of .07 or more, or repeat offenders. The length of suspension depends on the circumstances.

Offence description Penalties
BAC zero to less than 0.05:
  • learner permit
  • probationary
You will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for 3 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months, managed by VicRoads#.
BAC zero to less than 0.05:
  • full licence holder subject to zero BAC requirement
You will receive:
  • a fine
  • 10 demerit points.
BAC 0.05 to less than 0.07:
  • full licence holder 26 years old or older and
    are not subject to a zero BAC requirement
You will receive:
  • a fine
  • 10 demerit points.
BAC 0.05 to less than 0.07:
  • learner or probationary
  • full licence holder subject to zero BAC requirement
  • full licence holder less than 26 years old
You will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for 6 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months, managed by VicRoads#.
BAC 0.07 to less than 0.10:
  • all drivers
You will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for 6 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum 6 months, managed by VicRoads#.
BAC 0.10 to less than 0.15:
  • all drivers
You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for 10 - 14 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum 6 months.
BAC 0.15 or more:
  • all drivers
You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 15 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum 6 months.
Non-BAC drink-driving offence
(See Note 1 below) 
You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for a period determined by the court
  • have an alcohol interlock period, with the period determined by the court.
Non road safety related offences that involve alcohol
(Community Sentencing Reform under Sentencing Act 1991)
You will need to go to court and may:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for a period determined by the court
  • have an alcohol interlock period, with the period determined by the court.

* Presuming a TIN is issued and no notice of objection. Possible different penalties if case is heard in court. 

# For combined drink and drug-driving offences, the alcohol interlock period and removal is determined by the court, not VicRoads.

Note 1: Non-BAC drink driving offences include:

  • DUI (driving or being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle).
  • Refusing to provide a test sample.
  • Refusing to stop at a breath testing station or to co-operate in the conduct of a test.
  • Manslaughter involving the use of a motor vehicle where alcohol was a contributing factor.
  • Culpable driving causing death where alcohol was a contributing factor.
  • Dangerous driving causing death or serious injury where alcohol was a contributing factor.
  • Negligently causing serious injury involving the use of a motor vehicle where alcohol was a contributing factor.
  • Negligent driving involving police pursuit.
  • Stealing or attempting to steal a vehicle.

On the spot suspension

Authorities have the power to immediately suspend your driver licence or learner permit in certain situations, e.g. learner or probationary drivers with a BAC of .07 or more, or repeat offenders. The length of suspension depends on the circumstances.

Offence description Penalties
Second BAC offence where the most recent BAC reading was 0.15 or less. You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for period determined by the court
  • have an alcohol interlock period, with the period determined by the court.
Second BAC offence where the most recent BAC reading was 0.15 or more.
You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 30 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 4 years.
Where the most recent offence was a non-BAC drink-driving offence (See Note 1 below).
You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for period determined by the court
  • have an alcohol interlock period determined by the court.
3 or more BAC offences.
You will need to go to court and may:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled*
  • be disqualified from driving for period determined by the court
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 4 years.

* Presuming a TIN is issued and no notice of objection. Possible different penalties if case is heard in court. 

Note 1: Non-BAC drink driving offences include:

  • DUI (driving or being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle).
  • Refusing to provide a test sample.
  • Refusing to stop at a breath testing station or to co-operate in the conduct of a test.
  • Manslaughter involving the use of a motor vehicle where alcohol was a contributing factor.
  • Culpable driving causing death where alcohol was a contributing factor.
  • Dangerous driving causing death or serious injury where alcohol was a contributing factor.
  • Negligently causing serious injury involving the use of a motor vehicle where alcohol was a contributing factor.
  • Negligent driving involving police pursuit.
  • Stealing or attempting to steal a vehicle.

On the spot suspension

Authorities have the power to immediately suspend your driver licence or learner permit in certain situations, e.g. learner or probationary drivers with a BAC of .07 or more, or repeat offenders. The length of suspension depends on the circumstances.

See our Alcohol and other drugs road rules webpage for more information.

An alcohol interlock stops you from starting your vehicle if you have been drinking. You need to blow into the interlock every time you start your vehicle and at different times during the trip.

In Victoria, alcohol interlocks are fitted to vehicles of drivers who have been convicted of some drink-driving offences. For more information visit Drink-driving offences.

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.

See our Drink-driving offences for more information about getting your licence or learner permit back.

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