Why Is the Blood Alcohol Limit Zero for Provisional Licence Holders?

Drink driving charges are classed in a number of different ranges, from low to high range, and include a few special provisions. One of these special provisions is novice range drink driving, which is a specific charge aimed at deterring learner drivers and provisional licence holders from consuming any alcohol at all before getting behind the wheel. Experienced drink driving lawyers can help novice range drink drivers avoid conviction in some cases, but otherwise, novice range drink driving comes with a maximum fine of $1,100 for a first offence, and a minimum disqualification period of three months.

The prescribed limit for learner and provisional drivers is zero, which means that if you are a learner driver and you are caught driving with any alcohol at all in your system, you are liable for a fine and disqualification. Although the zero alcohol limit might seem excessive, there are a number of reasons why it has been put in place.

Driving is a skill that requires attention and co-ordination. To drive safely, you need to be able to focus on a number of different things at once, make quick decisions, and assess potential hazards accurately. When you are learning, or if you are a provisional driver without much experience, it can be more difficult to make the necessary decisions and multitask to a high enough level with even a small amount of alcohol in your system.

Alcohol affects your driving ability in a number of different ways, including impairment of vision, co-ordination, ability to assess situations, and spatial awareness. If you hold a learner or provisional licence, and you are going to be driving, it’s important to be extremely careful when it comes to consuming alcohol, and avoid the temptation to have even one drink.

Learner and provisional drivers also often get caught the day after drinking. If you have had a few drinks the night before, you might still have a small amount of alcohol in your system in the morning, and this can show up on a police breath test if you are pulled over.

It is easy to assume that you are fine to drive and all the alcohol has left your system, but it takes roughly an hour for each standard drink to clear your bloodstream. Sleeping doesn’t speed the process up, nor does drinking coffee or taking a shower. In addition to the possibility of still having alcohol in your system, driving with a hangover can impair your driving ability, and cause drowsiness, which can also lead to accidents.

As a learner or provisional driver, it is important to take the alcohol limits seriously. Even if you are careful, mistakes can happen and a lapse can lead to disqualification from driving and fines. You hopefully have a long future of driving ahead of you, and a criminal conviction for a driving offence can lead to challenges and limitations in years to come.

In the event that you do end up facing a charge of novice range drink driving, make sure you seek advice from experienced drink driving lawyers. A good lawyer can help you get the best outcome in your case, whether that is avoiding the maximum penalties for the charge, or even obtaining a finding of guilt, without a conviction being recorded.

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