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This article was written by April Jarmoszewicz - Solicitor - Perth

April Jarmoszewicz holds a Bachelor of Laws from Murdoch University and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the College of Law. She is admitted to practise in the Supreme Court of Western Australia and in the High Court of Australia. April has a strong passion in Criminal Law and since her admission, has worked exclusively in Criminal Law. Prior...

New Penalties for Drink Driving and Drug Driving (WA)


As of 1 July 2021 the Road Traffic Act 1974 has been amended to include higher penalties for drink driving and drug driving offences. This article outlines the new penalties that apply to these offences.

Drink Driving and BAC

The penalties for drink driving are based on a person’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

A person’s BAC can be affected by serval factors including:

  • The amount of alcohol the person consumed;
  • The period over which alcohol was consumed;
  • The person’s body mass;
  • Whether or not the person had anything to eat; and
  • The person’s fitness level and the health of their liver.

Penalties for a BAC > 0.05 but < 0.07

The penalty that a person will receive for a drink driving offence with a BAC of over 0.05 but under 0.07 is as follows.

  • For a first offence, a fine of up to $1,250 and the court has the discretion whether to impose a licence disqualification or not.
  • For a second offence, a fine of between $1,250 and $2,000 and a mandatory licence disqualification of at least 6 months.
  • For a subsequent offence a fine between $1,250 and $2,000 and a mandatory licence disqualification of at least 8 months.

Penalties for a BAC > 0.07 but < 0.08

The penalty that a person will receive for a drink driving offence with a BAC of over 0.07 but under 0.08 is as follows.

  • For a first offence, a fine of up to $1,250 and the court has discretion whether to impose a licence disqualification or not.
  • For a second offence a fine between $1,500 and $2,000 and a mandatory licence disqualification of at least 8 months.
  • For a subsequent offence, a fine between $1,500 and $2,000 and a licence disqualification of 10 months.

Penalties for a BAC > 0.08 but < 0.09

The penalty that a person will receive for a drink driving offence with a BAC of over 0.08 but under 0.09 is as follows.

  • For a first offence a fine between $750 and $2,250 and a licence disqualification of 6 months.
  • For a second offence a fine between $1,600 and $2,250 and a licence disqualification of 8 months.
  • For a subsequent offence a fine between $1,600 and $2,250 and a licence disqualification of 10 months.

Penalties for a BAC > 0.09 but < 0.11

The penalty that a person will receive for a drink driving offence with a BAC of over 0.09 but under 0.11 is as follows.

  • For a first offence a fine between $850 and $2,250 and a licence disqualification of 7 months.
  • For a second offence a fine between $1,700 and $2,250 and a licence disqualification of 10 months.
  • For a subsequent offence a fine between $1,700 and $2,250 and a licence disqualification of 13 months.

Penalties for a BAC > 0.11 but < 0.13

The penalty that a person will receive for a drink driving offence with a BAC of over 0.11 but under 0.13 is as follows.

  • For a first offence a fine between $1,000 and $2,250 and a disqualification period of 8 months.
  • For a second offence a fine between $1,800 and $3,000 and a licence disqualification of 14 months.
  • For a subsequent offence a fine between $1,800 and $3,000 and a licence disqualification of 17 months.

Penalties for a BAC > 0.13 but < 0.15

The penalty that a person will receive for a drink driving offence with a BAC of over 0.13 but under 0.13 is as follows.

  • For a first offence a fine between $1,150 and $2,250 and a licence disqualification of 9 months.
  • For a second offence a fine between $2,400 and $3,750 and a licence disqualification of 18 months.
  • For a subsequent offence a fine between $2,500 and $4,500 and a licence disqualification of 30 months.

Penalties for a BAC > 0.15

The penalty that a person will receive for a drink driving offence with a BAC of over 0.15 is as follows.

  • For a first offence with no relevant prior convictions a fine between $1,700 and $3,750 and a licence disqualification of 10 months.
  • For a first offence where the person has been previously convicted of a drink driving offence a fine between $2,400 and $3,750 and a licence disqualification of 18 months.
  • For a first offence where the person has previously been convicted of polydrug driving offence a fine between $2,700 and $3,750 and a licence disqualification of 27 months.
  • For a second offence a fine between $3,150 and $5,250 and a licence disqualification of 30 months.
  • For a subsequent offence a fine between $3,150 and $7,500 and the person will be disqualified for life.

The alternative penalty to a fine for a second offence is a term of imprisonment of 9 months and the alternative penalty for a third or subsequent offence is 18 months imprisonment.

Drug Driving with a specified drug in oral fluid

Police can stop a driver who they suspect of driving while impaired by any drug. Drivers found to be under the influence of a specified drug such as cannabis, ecstasy or meth in their oral fluid can be charged with an offence.

The penalty for a first offence is a fine of up to $1,250 and 3 demerit points and for a second or subsequent offence a fine between $1,250 and $2,000 and a licence disqualification period of 6 months.

Drug-Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence of drugs is a more serious drug driving offence and applies to drivers who are found to be so impaired by a drug that they are not capable of controlling their vehicle.

The penalty for a first offence is a fine between $1,700 and $3,750 and a 10-month licence disqualification. The penalty for a second offence is a fine between $3,150 and $5,250 and a 30-month licence disqualification and for a subsequent offence the penalty is a fine between $3,150 and $7,500 and a licence disqualification for life.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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