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What are the penalties if you are accidentally over the limit 0.05?

4 min read

What are the penalties if you are accidentally over the limit 0.05?

It’s no surprise that Australia, along with the rest of the world, is making efforts to ensure drink driving a thing of the past.

  • Drink driving amounts 30% of road traffic deaths in Australia
  • 90% of drink driving related road fatalities involve men
  • 90% of drink driving related road fatalities occur on rural roads

Among the list of reasons why people get into this type of accident is the illusion of “safe drink driving”. 

We all know when we introduce alcohol to the body we experience impaired judgment, delayed reaction times, blurry and impaired vision, poor coordination and concentration and a worrying amount of false courage to drive to their next destination. 

You are twice as likely to have an accident if your BAC is over 0.05

The general guidance to remain below 0.05 is no more than 2 standard drinks in the first hour and no more than 1 standard drink every hour after that. 


Reinforced strict drink driving penalties - automatic loss of license and fines

Drink driving in Australia and New Zealand is heavily penalised in the traffic law acts of each stateRecent changes in several Australian states have seen small fines and cautionary traffic warnings escalate to stricter laws that put every driver, new or old, under the radar.

These are the penalties just for first time offenders. 

State Fine - BAC Licence Disqualification Imprisonment (max)

$1100 - 0.05

$2200 - 0.08

$3300 - 0.15

3-6 month

3-6 month

6-9 months


9 months

18 months


All offences

$495 - 0.05

$702 - 0.07

Court - 0.15

Re-education program + 6 month car interlock

3 months 

6 - 14 months

15 - 24 months


$1868 - 0.05

$2669 - 0.10

$3736 - 0.15

1-9 months

3-12 months

6 months +

3 month

6 months

9 months


$400 - 0.05

$500-1500 - 0.08

$900-2200 - 0.15


6 month - 9 months

10 months




3 months


$1570 - 0.05

$3140 - 0.10

$4710 - 0.15

3 - 12 months

6 - 18 months

12 months - 3 years

3 months

6 months

12 months


$785 - 0.05

$1177 - 0.08

$1570 - 0.15


3 months +

6 months + *

12 months + *

*compulsory driver re-education program

3 months

6 months

12 months



$1100 - 0.05

$1300 - 0.08

$1600 - 0.15

3 months +

6 months +

12 months +


$750 - 0.05

$1500 - 0.08

$2250 - 0.15

2 - 6 months

3 - 12 months

6 months - 3 years


6 months

9 months

Updated 2020 - fines increases over time

For repeat offenders penalties are higher and include mandatory interlock installation in your car which prevents you from driving if alcohol is detected in your system.  L and P platers and other special licenses should have no alcohol detected when driving otherwise they are subject to automatic disqualification. 

There is so much to lose and little to gain 

Drink driving impacts not only yourself but the people around you. You may face disqualification, pay hefty fines, have to attend court or have your car impounded. There are flow on consequences such as being unable to drive (physically or legally), losing your job if a car and licence are required under your contract. Those charged criminally face a red flag when it comes to further employment or travel opportunities, not to mention inflation on your car insurance premiums. In some cases, they may even cancel your insurance or refuse to reinsure you. Even worse, if anyone was injured, you have to live with the fact that you have hurt someone or may have destroyed property (public or private).  

Sticking to the rules never hurt anyone 

As licence-bearing adults, there are sets of rules we’ve been trained to follow ever since our learner’s permit days. These rules have been pre-determined from decades of trials and experience, making them workable for every possible traffic situation. The same rule applies to drinking. But in this case, you are driving your own body and are responsible for its working conditions. Whether you drink too much or only a little, it will always affect how you “drive” your personality and character through every road in your conversations with other people. This is why it’s important to follow the simple rule of the standard drink and know what you have consumed. To ensure the standard drink is measured correctly, our special, crystal wine glasses are the most accurate standard drink measure on the market! Each and every time, here at The Standard Drink Co, we’re here to keep everyone safe. 

The Standard Drink Company - Pour a standard drink glassware

Key take home messages 

Unlike other types of vehicular accidents, drink driving is avoidable. People have a choice - either stick to recommended maximum standard drinks and pace alcohol consumption or face the penalties. If planning to drive, organise alternate transport or accommodation. Ensuring you know how many standard drinks you have had is the best approach.  Our crystal wine glasses have laser accurate pouring lines that take any guesswork out of pouring the perfect standard drink. Functional and fashionable, they make the perfect drink for anyone who loves a drink! 

Before you hop into your car for a night out where drinking is inevitable, always remember your decisions will not only impact your life but often others as well. Standard drink measurements are there for a reason. Drink responsibly. 

Click to learn how our glassware help you pour a standard drink: 

The Standard Drink Co Multi Pour Line System




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