Farmsafe WA Alliance - Founded by Farmers for Farmers

An independent not-for-profit, non-government organisation encouraging and leading the way to safer farming

Drink Driving

Background

If you drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs you are more likely to be involved in a crash.  Alcohol is absorbed quickly into the blood and travels rapidly to all parts of the body.  It affects your brains ability to make judgements and process information.  It also impairs your consciousness and vision.

Consuming alcohol prior to driving increases your crash risk.  Studies have shown that drivers are twice as likely to crash with a BAC of 0.05g/100mL, seven times more likely to crash with a BAC of 0.08g/100mL, while a BAC of 0.15g/100mL increases the probability of a crash by 25 times.

In addition to this, intoxicated drivers involved in fatal crashes are three times more likely to have been speeding than sober drivers.

The Facts

Alcohol is a major contributor to road crashes in Western Australia.  In 2007, over a third of fatal crashes involved a driver with a BAC greater than 0.05g/100mL.  In addition to this around 21% of fatal crashes involved drivers or riders with a BAC that was at least three times the legal limit.  The South West has the highest proportion of fatal and hospitalisation crashes (11% of WA total) where there was a BAC of greater than 0.05g/100mL.

Community Attitudes

In an ongoing survey of community road safety attitudes, 9% of young (17-39 years) male drivers said they believed that even if they always kept their BAC undert 0.05g/100mL while driving they would be unlikely to reduced their chances of having a crash.  Approximately 835 thought it unlikely that they would be stopped for random breath test at any time of the day.  On weekend nights this proportion was considerably lower (36%).

Drink driving and the law

Currently in Western Australia, drivers convicted of driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.05g/100mL, on a first offence, are liable for a fine of up to $200 if summonsed to court, or $100 if issued with an infringement.  If convicted of driving with a BAC of 0.08g/100mL or above, on a first offence, drivers are liable for a fine between $400 and $1,500 and are disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence for a period of not less than three months.  Futhermore, if a driver is convicted of driving with a BAC of 0.15g/100mL the fine is between $800 and $2,500 and drivers are disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence for a period of not less than six months.  Penalties greatly increase for subsequent offences.  For more information on drink driving legislature visit the WA police website on http://www.police.wa.gov.au/Traffic/Drinkdriving/tabid/987/Default.aspx

Government Strategies

In an effort ro reduce the incidence of drink driving in Western Australia, with emphasis on repeat offenders, the Government is working to introduce a comprehensive drink driving strategy, informed by research evidence and international best practice, that includes an alcohol ignition interlock scheme, rehabilitation for offenders with serious alcohol problems and initiatives to limit unlicensed driving.  The program is anticipated to commence in 2009/10 following amendments to legislation.

Standard Drinks Guide

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Mid Strength Beer 3-4% Alc/Vol 0.8 Standard drink per 285ml

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Mid Strength Beer 3-4% Alc/Vol 1 Standard drink per 375ml

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Wine 10-14% Alc/Vol 1 Standard drink per 100ml

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Spirits 37-43% Alc/Vol 1 Standard drink per 30ml

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Pre Mixed Drinks 5% Alc/Vol 1.5 Standard drink per 375ml

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Full Strength Beer 4-6% Alc/Vol 1 Standard drink per 285ml

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Full Strength Beer 4-6% Alc/Vol 1.5 Standard drink per 375ml

Download a printable pdf version of the standard drinks guide (269.28 kb)

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Farmsafe WA Alliance Founded twenty years ago, with the voluntary work of farmers and enthusiasm of other interested bodies.

 

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