Wherever you are situated in Australia, driving while under the influence of alcohol or other substances is an offence that attracts serious penalties. Whether you are new at driving or you are a seasoned driver, you need to understand what drink driving charges entail to be on the right side of the law. The following is a look at the basic aspects of drink driving.
What Is Drink Driving?
This is driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (also known as BAC) that exceeds 0.05. If you are charged with drink driving, you stand to face penalties such as disqualification of your driving license, payment of a fine, gaining demerit points and imprisonment.
Drink Driving Laws
If you bear a probationary or learner license, your BAC should be zero. If you are accompanying a learner, your BAC should not exceed 0.05. If you have a full license, your BAC should not exceed 0.05.
Additionally, it is an offense to refuse to go through a breathalyser test if you are requested to do so by a police officer.
When Can A BAC Test Be Performed?
If you have committed a traffic offence like taking banned turns that resulted in an accident or give the police reason to suspect you have exceeded your drink driving limit, you will be stopped over for a test.
How Will You Be Tested For Alcohol?
If the police find your driving suspicious and want to test your BAC, they will perform a screening breath test using a breathalyser. This is a gadget you will be asked to blow through in order for your breath to be tested for alcohol.
In the case that you fail this test, the police will arrest you. At the station, two more breath tests will be conducted using an advanced breathalyser known as an evidential breath testing gadget. The lower of both readings will determine if you were above the limit.
If the breath sample from the advanced breathalyser exceeds the allowed drink driving limit by 40%, you can opt to replace this evidence with a urine or blood test. If these samples also prove that you were over your limit, the police will charge you with driving under the influence of alcohol.
How Much Can You Drink And Remain Under The Limit?
The amount of alcohol you can drink and still stay under the limit varies from one person to the other. Your alcohol level depends on:
- Your gender: men process alcohol more faster than women
- The type of alcohol you are drinking: alcoholic drinks have varying alcohol concentration levels
- The amount of alcohol you are drinking
- Your weight: heavier people have a higher resistance to alcohol
- Your stress levels: you tend to get drunk quickly when you are under a lot of stress
- Whether you have eaten
- Your age: young people are observed to process alcohol slower than older people
- Your metabolism
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