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Alcohol and drug penalties

The penalties for any of the offences described above are very severe and are set out below, and many include mandatory licence disqualification periods.

Automatic loss of licence applies for the majority of drink driving offences. For further details see Immediate loss of licence.

As of 8 March 2018, a mandatory licence disqualification applies for a first offence of driving with prescribed drug in oral fluid or blood.

Driving under the Influence (alcohol or drugs) : Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47

First Offence

A fine of not less than $1100 and not more than $1600, or imprisonment for not more than three months, and a mandatory licence disqualification for not less than twelve months; and 6 demerit points.

In the case of a first offence, where the Court is satisfied by evidence given on oath that the offence is trifling the court may order a lesser period of disqualification but for not less than one month [see s 47(3)(b)].

Subsequent Offence

A fine of not less than $1900 and not more than $2900, or imprisonment for not more than six months, and a mandatory licence disqualification for not less than three years; and 6 demerit points.

Driving under the Influence (alcohol or drugs) While Child Aged Under 16 Present in Vehicle: Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47(1a)

First Offence

A fine of not less than $1100 and not more than $1600, or imprisonment for not more than three months, and a mandatory licence disqualification for not less than twelve months; and 6 demerit points.

In the case of a first offence, where the Court is satisfied by evidence given on oath that the offence is trifling the court may order a lesser period of disqualification but for not less than one month [see s 47(3)(b)].

Subsequent Offence

A fine of not less than $1900 and not more than $2900, or imprisonment for not more than six months, and a mandatory licence disqualification for not less than three years; and 6 demerit points.

Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol: Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47B

First Offence

0.05-0.079: Expiation fee: $600 [see Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) Regulations 2014 (SA) Schedule 4 Part 2] and 4 demerit points OR $1100 (court penalty) and 4 demerit points; licence disqualification of not less than 3 months

0.08-0.149: $900-$1300; immediate licence disqualification of not less than 6 months; plus 5 demerit points

0.15 or over: $1100-$1600; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 12 months; plus 6 demerit points

Second Offence

0.05-0.079: $1100; licence disqualification of not less than 6 months; plus 4 demerit points

0.08-0.149: $1100-$1600; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 12 months; plus 5 demerit points

0.15 or over: $1600-$2400; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 3 years; plus 6 demerit points

Third Offence

0.05-0.079: $1100; licence disqualification of not less than 9 months; plus 4 demerit points

0.08-0.149: $1500-$2200; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 2 years; plus 5 demerit points

0.15 or over: $1900-$2900; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 3 years; plus 6 demerit points

Subsequent Offence

0.05-0.079: $1100; licence disqualification of not less than 12 months; plus 4 demerit points

0.08-0.149: $1500-$2200; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 2 years; plus 5 demerit points

0.15 or over: $1900-$2900; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 3 years; plus 6 demerit points

Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol While Child Aged Under 16 Present in Vehicle: Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47B(1a) - only applies to offences where the Blood Alcohol Content is 0.08 or above

First Offence

0.08-0.149: $900-$1300; immediate licence disqualification of not less than 6 months; plus 5 demerit points

0.15 or over: $1100-$1600; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 12 months; plus 6 demerit points

Second Offence

0.08-0.149: $1100-$1600; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 12 months; plus 5 demerit points

0.15 or over: $1600-$2400; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 3 years; plus 6 demerit points

Third Offence

0.08-0.149: $1500-$2200; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 2 years; plus 5 demerit points

0.15 or over: $1900-$2900; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 3 years; plus 6 demerit points

Subsequent Offence

0.08-0.149: $1500-$2200; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 2 years; plus 5 demerit points

0.15 or over: $1900-$2900; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 3 years; plus 6 demerit points

Driving with Prescribed Drug: Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47BA

First Offence

If expiated: $600 [see Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) Regulations 2014 (SA) Schedule 4 Part 2],4 demerit points and licence disqualification of 3 months [see Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 81D(2)(a)(ii)]; OR

Court penalty: $900-$1300; 4 demerit points; licence disqualification of not less than 6 months

Second Offence

$1100-$1600 and 4 demerit points; licence disqualification of not less than 12 months

Third Offence

$1500-$2200 and 4 demerit points; licence disqualification of not less than 2 years

Subsequent Offence

$1500-$2200 and 4 demerit points; licence disqualification of not less than 3 years

Driving With Prescribed Drug While Child Aged under 16 Present in Vehicle: Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47BA(1a)

First Offence

If expiated: $600 [see Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) Regulations 2014 (SA) Schedule 4 Part 2],4 demerit points and licence disqualification of 3 months [see Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 81D(2)(a)(ii)]; OR

Court penalty: $900-$1300; 4 demerit points; licence disqualification of not less than 6 months

Second Offence

$1100-$1600 and 4 demerit points; licence disqualification of not less than 12 months

Third Offence

$1500-$2200 and 4 demerit points; licence disqualification of not less than 2 years

Subsequent Offence

$1500-$2200 and 4 demerit points; licence disqualification of not less than 3 years

Refuse Breath Test: Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47E

First Offence

$1100-$1600; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 12 months; plus 6 demerit points

Subsequent Offence

$1900-$2900; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 3 years; plus 6 demerit points

Refuse Breath Test While Child Aged Under 16 Present in Vehicle: Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47E(3a)

First Offence

$1100-$1600; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 12 months; plus 6 demerit points

Subsequent Offence

$1900-$2900; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 3 years; plus 6 demerit points

Refuse Compulsory Blood Test: Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47I

First Offence

$1100-$1600; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 12 months; plus 6 demerit points

Subsequent Offence

$1900-$2900; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 3 years; plus 6 demerit points

Refuse Compulsory Blood Test While Child Aged Under 16 Present in Vehicle: Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47I(7)

First Offence

$1100-$1600; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 12 months; plus 6 demerit points

Subsequent Offence

$1900-$2900; automatic licence disqualification of not less than 3 years; plus 6 demerit points

Refuse Drug Test: Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47EAA

First Offence

$900-$1300; licence disqualification of not less than 12 months; plus 6 demerit points

Subsequent Offence

$1500-$2200; licence disqualification of not less than 3 years; plus 6 demerit points

Refuse Drug Test While Child Aged Under 16 Present in Vehicle: Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 47EAA(9a)

First Offence

$900-$1300; licence disqualification of not less than 12 months; plus 6 demerit points

Subsequent Offence

$1500-$2200; licence disqualification of not less than 3 years; plus 6 demerit points

Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs  :  Last Revised: Mon Feb 5th 2018
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.