New drink-driving limits: What you need to know

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The drink-driving limits will change on 1 December, bringing in lower thresholds for breath and blood alcohol and new infringement fines.

According to a Mondaq article by Gareth Abdinor of Cavell Leitch, the new law could impact on employees who are required to drive for their jobs or when employers provide alcohol for work-organised social functions.

Abdinor wrote that employers should look at updating drink-driving provisions in employment agreements, drug and alcohol policies and vehicle policies, “to ensure that your expectations are clear and that the risk of drink-driving to your business is properly managed”.

Employers could also look at how to protect their organisation from the risk of employees having their licence suspended due to demerit points and how work social events were organised.

He wrote that according to the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, most adults would be able to drink two standard drinks across two hours and stay under the new drink-driving limit.

A standard drink is classified as 330ml of four per cent alcohol beer, 100ml of 13% alcohol wine or 32ml of 40% alcohol spirits.

The new law will mean that for adults aged 20 and over, the breath alcohol limit will drop from 400mcg per litre of breath to 250mcg.

The blood alcohol limit will also be reduced from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg.

Drivers who fail breath tests with readings of between 251mcg and 400mcg will face a $200 infringement fee and 50 demerit points.

Drivers who refuse to take a breath test will receive a $700 fine along with the 50 demerit points, while those with a reading of more than 400mcg will be able to ask for an evidential blood test and will face criminal sanctions.

Those who accumulate 100 or more demerit points from driving offences within two years will have their licence suspended for three months.

Are you prepared for the new drink-driving limits?

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