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Drink driving on P plates in Victoria - the legal limit and consequences


In Victoria, young drivers are overrepresented among the state’s drug and drink driving offenders.

This is despite Victoria having among the strictest DUI laws in Australia, with intoxicated young drivers risking heavy fines and their licence, as well as their own lives and other road users’.

Here’s how many young drivers are driving under the influence in Victoria, what the legal limits are for P Platers, and what support is available for people injured in drink-driving accidents.

Drug & drink driving statistics in Victoria

Victoria generally has seen results following a decades-long road safety campaign, with lives lost on the state’s roads falling from a high of 1061 deaths in 1970 to just 211 in 2020, even while the population of the state grew significantly.

While fatalities may thankfully be in decline, authorities are concerned with drug driving trends, especially among young drivers.

Drivers aged between 18-25 make up almost one-third of all drug driving offenders, according to Victoria Police. The same group account for slightly under one in four drink driving offenders. These young drivers getting behind the wheel under the influence may face serious legal repercussions.

What are the drug and drink driving limits in Australia?

All Australian states and territories enforce a 0.05 BAC limit on full licence holders, and it is an offence to drive affected at all by illegal drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and even prescribed medications with driving warnings.

Victorian drivers on learner or probationary licences, either P1 (red P) or P2 (green P) must drive with a BAC of 0.00. In the case of learner drivers, this same restriction applies to their licenced supervisor.

All drivers are prohibited from drinking alcohol while driving, regardless of whether they are under the legal limit.

What happens if I am injured by a drunk driver?

Drug and drink driving pose a serious risk to both the driver affected, their passengers and especially other road users.

If you are injured in a road accident involving a drunk or drug affected driver, you will be able to claim compensation from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and not have to worry about chasing the at fault party as the scheme indemnifies them.

Depending on the injured person’s circumstances, TAC can pay for medical and rehabilitative treatment, income support for lost earnings and lump-sum compensation. TAC is limited to insuring people – it won’t pay compensation for damage to property like a car or bicycle.

Shine Lawyers’ TAC compensation claim experts often represent clients involved in accidents who have suffered:

  • brain or head injuries from collision with a vehicle interior or loose object
  • neck injuries, commonly due to whiplash
  • back or spinal injuries
  • psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Our TAC claims lawyers will be able to give you an idea of your entitlements based off your situation – contact us to arrange a free consult and tell your story.

Can a drink or drug affected driver still obtain TAC benefits?

Drivers convicted of drink or drug driving offences can still access TAC benefits, however there are some consequences

Some benefits are reduced if the injured person is convicted, according to the severity of their offence.

For example, any loss of earning benefits, designed to compensate earners for their lost income due to time off work while injured, will be reduced:

  • by one-third if convicted with a BAC of more than 0.05 and less than 0.12
  • by two-thirds if convicted with a BAC of more than 0.12 and less than 0.24.

Loss of earning benefits are not paid to injured drivers later convicted of driving:

  • with a BAC of 0.24 or more
  • while under the influence of an illegal drug.

A conviction of a drug or drink driving related offence won’t affect an injured drivers’ access to medical treatment and support benefits. Further information can be found on the TAC website.

No matter how you’ve been injured on the roads, our TAC Claims department can help – even if your poor decisions have led to a drink or drug driving conviction.

Why choose Shine Lawyers for my TAC claim?

Shine Lawyers’ dedicated TAC Claims department have the speciality experience needed to maximise our clients’ benefits.

If you’ve been injured on the road in Victoria, or in another state while in a Victoria-registered vehicle, our TAC scheme experts may be able to help you access benefits to aid your recovery — regardless of who was at fault.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: July 26, 2021.

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