Alcohol and drugs
The laws in NSW limit the amount of alcohol you can consume if you are driving a vehicle. It also is illegal to drive, attempt to drive or instruct a learner while affected by drugs.
The laws in NSW limit the amount of alcohol you can consume if you are driving a vehicle.
Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) must be under the limit as shown in the table. Heavy penalties apply for driving with a blood alcohol concentration on or over the limit.
Blood alcohol concentration limits
As a learner and provisional driver, you must not drive after you have consumed any alcoholic drinks or foods containing alcohol.
This table shows the blood alcohol concentration limits for all licence classes. You must stay below these limits.
|Provisional (P1, P2)||Zero|
|Full licence (car or rider)||Under 0.05|
|Public passenger vehicle drivers – bus, taxi etc||Under 0.02|
|Coach or heavy vehicle (over 13.9 tonnes GVM or GCM) driver||Under 0.02|
|Dangerous goods vehicle driver||Under 0.02|
|Fully licensed drivers from interstate and overseas||Under 0.05|
Drugs, legal and illegal
Medicines and over-the-counter drugs
Many prescription and some over-the-counter medicines may make you unfit to drive. They can affect your eyesight, concentration, mood, coordination and cause slower reaction times as a driver.
Do not drive while taking medicines with a warning label that tells you not to drive.
Medicines that affect driving:
- Some pain killers
- Medicines for blood pressure, nausea, allergies, inflammations
and fungal infections
- Tranquillisers, sedatives and sleeping pills
- Some diet pills
- Some cold and flu medicines.
Visit the healthdirect website for more information and to download your medicine information leaflet:
- How can medicine affect driving?
- What to do?
- Search and download your medicine information leaflet via Consumer Medicines Information (CMI)
Centre for Road Safety
- Alcohol and other drugs
- Prescription Drugs and driving
- Alcohol and driving
- Drugs and driving
- Getting home safely
- Interlock program
It is illegal to drive, attempt to drive or instruct a learner while affected by drugs.
Police will arrest you if they suspect you are driving while impaired by drugs. You will be taken to a hospital to give samples of blood and urine for drug testing.
In the event of a crash where someone is admitted to hospital, blood samples are taken which may be tested for drugs.