Budget Direct recently asked 1,000 Australians about their own drink driving habits and attitudes towards other drink drivers. Some interesting myths and misconceptions came out of the survey around what is the perceived acceptable limit for drinking and still being able to drive home.

Budget Direct’s Jonathan Kerr said, “The number of people who are dying on our roads because of drink driving offenders is unacceptable”.

“If you’re planning to drink, it’s important that you think ahead and leave the car at home. There are safe transport options including rideshare, taxis and public transport, or even staying over at your mate’s place.”

Myth #1: Each state and territory has different limits for Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) while driving

According to our survey, at least 1 in 5 Aussies do not know the Blood Alcohol Content limits in their state.

The Department of Health states that in all states and territories, you’re breaking the law if you drive and your blood alcohol concentration is equal to or more than 0.05. If you’re on a learners or provisional licence, your BAC must be zero.

However, the penalties for drink driving vary between each state and territory, with higher penalties for blowing well above the 0.05 limit (0 for learner and probationary drivers).

Queensland currently has the highest fines for fully-qualified drivers who blow at least 0.05 with fines starting from $1,929 and a disqualification period of 1-9 months. Probationary and learner drivers who blow over 0 also face fines starting from $1,929 and a disqualification period of 3-9 months.

However, if you get caught drink driving in Western Australia and blow above 0.15 then you can expect to pay $5,650. You will also be disqualified from driving for at least 15 months.

To see the full breakdown of fines and licence disqualification periods for drink driving charges, you can review the Laws & limits to drink driving in Australia.

Myth #2: You will not exceed the BAC limit if you stick to a particular number of drinks

At least 2 in 5 Aussies (43%) surveyed don’t know how many drinks they can have and stay under the legal blood alcohol limit.

There are a number of factors that can influence blood alcohol concentration including weight, number of drinks consumed and time. Mixing different alcohol types such as beer, spirits or wine can also be problematic when trying to keep track of how many standard drinks you’re consuming.

Myth #3: You can speed up your metabolism to reduce your BAC

Almost 1 in 2 Aussies (47%) surveyed falsely believe they can speed up their absorption of alcohol.

This is alarming because it means that a large proportion of people think that they can reduce their rate of alcohol metabolism by eating, drinking water or exercising.

Once alcohol is in the system, it can only be excreted naturally such as through sweat, urine and breath. The amount of time that alcohol can stay in the body varies which is why some people can still be over the legal BAC limit the following day after becoming intoxicated.

Find out more

To find out more about the results of the survey, you can check out our Australian drink driving survey & statistics 2021.

For a copy of the raw survey data, or for any questions on the study please contact:

Yacine Khouzami
Digital PR & Outreach Specialist
(07) 3096 8443
[email protected]

Disclaimer: This information is general in nature only and does not constitute personal advice. The survey was conducted by PureProfile on behalf of Budget Direct in July 2021. All figures are from this research unless stated otherwise. The survey was conducted online with a total sample size of 1,000 weighted and representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+). While Budget Direct has endeavoured to ensure the information we’ve relied on is accurate and current, we do not guarantee it and accept no liability for this information.

About Budget Direct

Budget Direct was established as an insurance provider in Australia in 2000. It is part of the international BHL group of companies headquartered in the British Isles. The group provides more than 8 million policies to insurance customers and administers $AUD 3 billion in premiums annually. Budget Direct offers Motor, Home & Contents and Travel Insurance as well as Roadside Assistance. 

Budget Direct is a multi-award-winning insurer having won Money magazines Insurer of the Year 2019 for the third year in a row and Canstar’s Outstanding Value Car Insurance 2019 for 13 years in a row amongst many other awards. Our policies are underwritten by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited, an Australian insurance company regulated by APRA and a member of the Insurance Council of Australia.

About Auto & General

Auto & General has specialised in the sale, management and underwriting of insurance products in Australia since 2000. Our insurance products include car, home and contents and travel. We provide insurance for a number of brands including Budget Direct, 1st for Women, Ozicare, Australia Post, Virgin Money, and ING. We have contact centres based in Queensland and claims assessing centres in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, in total employing in excess of 1500 people. Our commitment to providing exceptional service has seen the company win multiple industry awards.

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