Drug-driving penalties

Drivers face harsh penalties if they are caught driving with illicit drugs in their system.

You can be given a penalty for:

  • failing a roadside drug test
  • driving while impaired by a drug
  • refusing to undertake a roadside drug test and/or impairment test by Victoria Police.

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

On the spot suspension

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

If you fail a roadside drug test you may face penalties. There are different penalties depending on whether it is your first offence or if you’ve been caught before. The following table explains the different penalties when caught with illicit drugs in your system.

Offence Penalties
First drug-driving offence and you received a Traffic Infringement Notice

You will:

  • receive a fine to the value of three penalty units
  • have your licence or learner permit suspended for six months
  • need to complete a Drug Driver Program in the first three months of your suspension period or your licence/learner permit will be cancelled.
First drug-driving offence and you are required to go to court

You will:

  • receive a fine of up to the value of 12 penalty units
  • need to complete a Drug Driver Program Behaviour Change Program
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled for at least six months
  • have a zero BAC condition for three years.

The court may also record a conviction.

Second drug-driving offence
You will go to court and will:
  • receive a fine of up to 60 penalty units
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled for at least 12 months
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have a zero BAC condition for three years.

The court may also record a conviction.

More than two drug-driving offences
You will go to court and will:
  • receive a fine of up to 120 penalty units
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled for at least 12 months
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have a zero BAC condition for three years.

The court may also record a conviction.

If you fail a roadside drug test you may face penalties. There are different penalties depending on whether it is your first offence or if you have had any drug offence before. The following table explains the different penalties that may apply when caught with illicit drugs in your system.

Offence Penalties
First drug-driving offence and you received a Traffic Infringement Notice (TIN)

You will:

  • receive a fine of 3 penalty units
  • have your licence or learner permit suspended for three months.
First drug-driving offence and you are required to go to court

You will:

  • receive a fine of up to 12 penalty units
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled for at least three months
  • need to complete a Drug Driver Program Behaviour Change Program
  • have a zero BAC condition for three years.

The court may also record a conviction.

Second drug-driving offence

You will go to court and will:

  • receive a fine of up to 60 penalty units
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled for at least six months
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have a zero BAC condition for three years.

The court may also record a conviction.

More than two drug-driving offences

You will go to court and will:

  • receive a fine of up to 120 penalty units, or 18 months imprisonment
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled for at least six months
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have a zero BAC condition for three years.

The court may also record a conviction.

If police stop you, they can do a preliminary assessment of physical factors such as your behaviour, balance and coordination. If this assessment shows that you may be impaired by an illicit drug, you will need to give blood and/or urine samples.

You will be given a penalty if you are found guilty of Driving While Impaired. There are different penalties depending on whether it is your first offence or if you have had any drug offence before.  The following table explains the different penalties that may apply when caught with illicit drugs in your system.

Offence Penalties
First drug-driving offence

You will:

  • go to court
  • receive a fine of up to 12 penalty units
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled for at least 12 months
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have a zero BAC condition for three years.

The court may also record a conviction.

Second drug-driving offence

You will go to court and:

  • receive a fine of up to 120 penalty units, or 12 months imprisonment
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled for at least two years
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have a zero BAC condition for three years.

The court may also record a conviction.

More than two drug-driving offences

You will go to court and will:

  • receive a fine of up to 180 penalty units, or 18 months imprisonment
  • have your licence or learner permit cancelled for at least two years
  • need to complete an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • have a zero BAC condition for three years.

The court may also record a conviction.

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