If you have been driving for quite some time, the whole activity may seem like an automatic process for you, with every motion involved coming naturally to you. It may seem like you can drive your car with your eyes closed as you develop a connection to it — man and machine working perfectly together.
However, when you add alcohol to that equation, that familiarity, your driving proficiency — all that can vanish in an instant. But why should you be concerned about drink driving if you can hold alcohol pretty well? Here are a few things that you should know about drink driving.
Before delving into the details about the effects of alcohol and pertinent drink driving laws in Australia, it is worthwhile to look back at the actions involved in driving.
Remember the time when you were just learning how to drive? Remember how awkward you felt while looking forward at the road while trying to synchronise the movement of your feet and arms? Driving, for all intents and purposes, is all about multitasking. As you grow accustomed to driving, everything becomes seamless as you utilise coordination, concentration and your reflexes. Adding alcohol into the mix can hamper your ability to multitask, thus endangering yourself and other road users.
Suffice it to say that even a small amount of alcohol found in your body, which can be determined through the use of a Breathalyzer, can impair your ability to drive. And the more drinks you consume, the more danger you pose to yourself and to others. In fact, in Australia, drink driving is among the leading causes of accidents and fatalities on the road.
Even if your blood alcohol concentration is well below the Australian legal limit of 0.05, you are put in a bad position to drive as your abilities to judge distances and to respond to stimuli are vastly diminished. And the higher your BAC level is, the slower your body becomes in reacting, while the tendency to become reckless sets in.
If you are a learner or if you are currently holding a probationary license, your BAC level must be zero. If you are a fully licensed driver, the limit is 0.05. Also, you might want to take note of the fact that if you refuse to subject yourself to a Breathalyser test under the request of a police officer, you are committing an offense.
Penalties differ from one state to another. However, if it is your first offense, you'll get an infringement notice. If you have had a prior infringement notice, the penalties will be more serious. In some cases, your license may be revoked for a set number of months and you may be required to undergo rehabilitation. You may also be required to install an alcohol interlock in your car if you wish to get a new license.