Drink-driving penalties

Drivers face harsh penalties if they are caught drink-driving

Tougher penalties are here

From 30 April 2018 if you get caught driving at .05 or more you’ll:

  • lose your licence
  • need to complete a compulsory Behaviour Change Program and
  • get an alcohol interlock installed on re-licensing.

Victorian licence holders caught drink-driving interstate

From 31 January 2018, if you hold a Victorian licence and get caught drink driving interstate, the same rules apply as if you’d be caught here.

This means that your Victorian licence will get cancelled and you'll have conditions like driving with zero blood alcohol added to your licence. You'll also need to have an alcohol interlock installed to any vehicle you drive.

For more information, contact Driver Relicensing Services on 1300 723 790 or [email protected]

Penalties for drink-drivers

Those caught driving with a Blood or Breath 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 less than .05

You have a:

  • learner permit
  • P1 or P2 licence
  • full licence with a Z condition (or otherwise have a zero BAC requirement).
You will:
  • receive a fine
  • need to complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 3 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.

BAC between .05 and .069

You have a:

  • learner permit
  • P1 or P2 licence
  • full licence with a Z condition (or otherwise have a zero BAC requirement), or
  • full licence and you're under 26 years of age.
You will:
  • receive a fine
  • need to complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 6 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.

BAC between .05 and .069

You have a:

  • full licence that doesn’t have a Z condition (no zero BAC requirement), or 
  • full licence and you're 26 years of age or older.
 You will:
  • receive a fine
  • need to complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for 3 months (if you were issued a traffic infringement notice (TIN))
  • be disqualified for at least 6 months (if imposed by the court) 
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
BAC between .07 and less than .10

You will:

  • receive a fine
  • need to complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for 6 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
BAC between .10 and less than .15

You will:

  • receive a fine
  • need to complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 10 - 14 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
BAC of  .15 or more

You will:

  • receive a fine
  • 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 15 - 24 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
Non-BAC drink-driving offence 
(e.g. refusing to stop at a booze bus or refusing to be breath tested)

You will:

  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled
  • 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 period decided by the court
  • have an alcohol interlock for a period decided by the court.

Offence description Penalties
  • BAC less than .15
  • Second or subsequent offence
You will need to go to court and will:
  • receive a fine
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 12 - 28 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for at least 12 months.
  • BAC of .15 or more
  • Second or subsequent offence
You will need to go to court and will: 
  • receive a fine
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program 
  • have your licence or permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 30 - 48 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a period determined by the court.

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 less than .05

You have a:

  • learner permit
  • P1 or P2 licence.
You will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 3 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.

BAC less than .05

You have a:

  • full licence with a Z condition (or you’re otherwise subject to a zero BAC requirement).
You will receive:
  • a fine
  • 10 demerit points.

BAC .05 to less than .07

You have a:

  • full licence and are 26 years or older, and
  • you aren’t subject to a zero BAC requirement.
You will receive:
  • a fine
  • 10 demerit points.

BAC .05 to less than .07

You have a:

  • learner permit
  • P1 or P2 licence
  • full licence, and you’re under 26 years old
  • full licence with a Z condition.

You will:

  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 6 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
BAC .07 to less than .10 You will:
  • receive a fine
  • have your licence or permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 6 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
BAC .10 to less than .15 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 10 - 14 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
BAC .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 15 - 24 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 6 months.
Non-BAC drink-driving offence
(e.g. refusing to stop at a booze bus or refusing to be breath tested)
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.

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 Penalties
Second BAC offence
Most recent BAC reading was less than .15
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 12 - 28 months
  • have an alcohol interlock period for a minimum of 12 months.
Second BAC offence, where most recent BAC reading was .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 - 48 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 4 years.
Where the most recent offence was a non-BAC drink-driving offence (e.g. refusing to stop at a booze bus or refusing to be breath tested) 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.

Serious motor vehicle offences that involve alcohol:

  • manslaughter arising from the driving of a motor vehicle
  • negligently causing serious injury arising from the driving of a motor vehicle
  • exposing emergency or custodial workers to risk, arising out of the driving of a motor vehicle 
  • culpable driving causing death
  • dangerous driving causing death or serious injury.

You will need to go to court and will:

  • receive a fine, or jail time, or both
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 18 months
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 4 years.
Dangerous or negligent driving while pursued by police, offence involves alcohol


You will need to go to court and will:

  • receive jail time
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for at least 12 months 
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 4 years.
Stealing or attempting to steal a motor vehicle, offence involves alcohol

You will need to go to court and may:

  • receive jail time
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a period determined by the court
  • have an alcohol interlock for a minimum of 4 years.
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 learner permit cancelled
  • be disqualified from driving for a period determined by the court
  • have an alcohol interlock for a 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.

If your offence was committed before 1 October 2014, different rules and penalties apply to you.



What is the law?

See Drink-driving offences for more information.

What are alcohol interlocks?

An alcohol interlock is a device that stops you from starting your vehicle if it detects alcohol in your breath. 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 a drink-driving offence. For more information, visit About the Victorian interlock program.

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). When this period has finished, 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?

Visit Getting your licence back to find out what you need to do after a drink-driving offence.

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