Drink and Drug Driving
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Alcohol impairs a person’s ability to control a vehicle. Research suggests that at a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.05, the risk of being involved in a vehicle accident is double that of a person who has not been drinking at all.
If you have a full unrestricted license your blood alcohol level reading must be below 0.03 if you want to drive. If it is not and this is the first time you have been caught then you will be fined. Subsequent incidents of drinking over the limit and driving can be severely punished by the law.
You can be asked to do a breath test by police at any time you are driving, or police reasonably suspect that you have been driving. Generally failing to, or refusing to provide a breath sample is an offence. If you are incapable of providing a breath sample because of your physical condition, police may ask you to provide a blood sample instead, if appropriate.
You may only refuse to do a test if you are deemed incapable of providing any sample (eg. you have a medical condition which prevents you from doing the test, or you are injured or passed out and cannot give a sample), or if more than 4 hours has passed since the time that you are believed to have driven the motor vehicle.
If you are found to be driving under the influence of drugs you may be convicted of an offence which will result in you receiving a fine and having your license suspended.
As with drink driving, if police suspect that you have been driving under the influence of drugs, they can request that you undergo an assessment of drug impairment. Usually this is done by way of an oral fluid test. Generally, failure or refusal to do the test is an offence.
If you are incapable of providing a sample of oral fluid because of your physical condition, police can request you to do a blood sample instead.
You may only refuse to do the test if you are medically incapable of providing any sample, or if more than 4 hours has passed since the time that you are believed to have driven the motor vehicle. If you believe your result is incorrect you should seek legal advice as to how to challenge your test.