Victorian Drink Driving Trends and Laws

It should go without saying that the legal system heavily frowns upon drink driving. Where a drunken driver’s actions lead to serious injury or death, the case it taken especially seriously by judges. When people get behind the wheel of a car after drinking more than the legal amount, they are risking the safety of others, and the community as a whole.

There are a number of factors that will affect what the consequences are for drink drivers. If charges have been laid against you for drink driving, and you are found guilty, things like the level of alcohol in your system, if you have had any previous offences, if you were taking narcotics, and how fast you were going are all factors. Depending on these things, you might face some serious time behind bars, should you be convicted.

If you have been charged with drink driving, and given a summons to go to court, legal counselling will be essential. This is a dire charge, and it should not be taken lightly.

Statistical Trends

The Transport Accident Commission of Victoria has gathered data to indicate that drink driving is generally less common, in the past decade. This is largely due to breath testing for alcohol, as well as drug testing for drivers. The random breath tests on roadsides, as well as the “booze buses”, have been a boon to police and governmental efforts.

More than 20 million drivers in Victoria have been breath tested since 1997, inside Victoria. These efforts have led to more than 70,000 drink drivers being caught. This works out to roughly to 0.3 percent of tested drivers having a too-high level of alcohol in their system. This relates to the minimum blood alcohol concentration that drivers are allowed to legally have, which is 0.05 percent. However, the data also indicates that a quarter of drivers who die on the roads of Victoria, have BACs over the legal 0.05 percent.

These statistics might seem high, but the amount of of drink drivers who are killed in car accidents has actually gone down in the last 10 years. The number was roughly 40 percent just that long ago, instead of the 25 percent that it is now. This is a good indication that the police in Victoria, as well as the Transport Accident Commission, have been working hard to put a stop to drink driving. Even though fatalities caused by drink driving have gone down, the courts are going to keep punishing people who drive under the influence of alcohol, fairly but harshly.

Laws

Learner drivers, as well a probationary drivers, must have a BAC of zero. This also applies to professional drivers, like taxi and truck drivers. In many cases, people who have been convicted of drink driving in the past are not allowed to have any alcohol in their system while driving. For any other driver, the legal BAC is 0.05%.

If you are asked to provide a police officer with a breath test or drug test, it is illegal to refuse. That even applies if it happens on private property. You can also be asked to provide a breath or drug test up to three hours after driving.

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