Driving offences (speeding, alcohol and traffic)

Find out about traffic offences, including blood alcohol content limits and penalties that can be imposed on the different driver licence types in Western Australia.

  Traffic Infringement Notice scam - December 2016

There is currently a WA Police Traffic Infringement Notice scam email being circulated.

  • The email contains current WA Police logos and may seem legitimate, but it is not!
  • Please do not click on any of the links in the email.

WA Police currently only issues traffic infringements by either handing an on the spot infringement to a person or posting a traffic infringement (either handwritten or camera) to the offender in the mail.

WA Police do not currently issue traffic infringements by email or SMS.

If you are unsure whether an infringement is real, you can visit WA Police website and click on the Infringements tab or call IMO call centre on (08) 9374 4555.

  Alcohol interlock offences

On or after the 24th October 2016 if a person commits and is convicted in Western Australia of any of the following alcohol interlock offences they will be required to participate in the Alcohol Interlock Scheme. On conviction the person will be disqualified from driving and any driver's licence and/or learners permit held by that person will be cancelled.

Item Road Traffic Act 1974 offences Application to Alcohol Interlock Scheme
a Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle (Section 63(1)(a) or (c)) All convictions
b Dangerous Driving causing death or grievous bodily harm while under the influence of alcohol or alcohol and drugs to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle (Section 59(1)(a) or (bb)) All convictions
c Dangerous Driving causing bodily harm while under the influence of alcohol or alcohol & drugs to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle (Section 59A(1)(a) or (1)(bb)) All convictions
d Failure to comply with requirement to provide a sample of Breath, Blood or Urine sample (Section 67(2)(a)(b)(c) or (d)) All convictions
e Driving with a blood alcohol content of or above 0.08 (Section 64(1)) Where the person has been convicted of a previous offence under (a) to (g) in the preceding 5 years
f Driving with blood alcohol content of or above 0.05 (Section 64AA(1)) Where the person has been convicted of a previous offence under (a) to (g) in the preceding 5 years
g Driving with a blood alcohol content of or above 0.02 (Section 64A(1) & (4)) Where the person has been convicted of a previous offence under (a) to (g) in the preceding 5 years

  About the Alcohol Interlock Scheme

Driver using an alcohol interlock device in his car at night

The WA Alcohol Interlock Scheme aims to reduce the road safety risk posed by drink drivers by introducing a mandatory, user pays, performance based scheme in which alcohol interlock devices provide separation of drinking and driving behaviour.

A driver, who commits and is convicted of an alcohol interlock offence in Western Australia on or after the 24th October 2016, will be known as an 'alcohol offender'. An alcohol offender who is subsequently granted a driver's licence will have their licence endorsed with an interlock condition and will be known as an 'interlock-restricted driver'.

An interlock-restricted driver may only drive a vehicle fitted with an approved alcohol interlock.

The interlock condition will only be removed from a person's driver's licence when they have participated for a minimum period of time and demonstrated the separation of drinking and driving behaviour for a continuous 180 day period immediately prior to exiting the scheme by satisfying all requirements of the scheme.

DVS_P_B_AlcoholInterlock.pdf icon Alcohol Interlock Scheme (Brochure) Kb
DVS_P_AlcoholInterlockSchemeParticGuide.pdf icon Alcohol Interlock Scheme: Participant guide Kb
DVS_P_FAQ_AlcoholInterlockScheme.pdf icon Alcohol Interlock Scheme (Questions and Answers) Kb
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  Alcohol Interlock Scheme (Western Australia)

The WA Alcohol Interlock Scheme aims to reduce the road safety risk posed by drink drivers by introducing a mandatory, performance-based scheme in which alcohol interlock devices provide separation between drinking and driving. The scheme includes support by means of an alcohol assessment and treatment component and extension of time on the interlock devices for those found to be non-compliant.

Drivers convicted of alcohol related offences on seeking authorisation to drive, will have their licence endorsed with an interlock condition restricting their driving to vehicles fitted with an approved alcohol interlock device.

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  Alcohol, speeding and other traffic offences

There are a variety of penalties that can be imposed on drivers who commit traffic offences. These include fines, licence sanctions (suspensions and cancellations) and in some cases imprisonment.

Penalties can be imposed by Courts or by infringement notices.

The penalties imposed by infringement notices are usually much less than the amount that can be imposed by a Court. Not all traffic offences are subject to infringement notices. However, infringements include fines and some traffic offences include demerit point penalties:

  • Fines are imposed for a range of traffic offences.
  • Certain traffic offences attract demerit points in addition to fines.
  • If you are a Novice Driver the Graduated Demerit Point system will apply. The number of demerit points you can accumulate before you are disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence is reduced.
  • All other drivers can accumulate up to 12 demerit points within a three year period before being disqualified from holding a licence for a minimum of three months.

You may also be disqualified from driving without incurring demerit points for example:

  • If you are convicted of a drink driving offence.
  • If you offend repeatedly.
  • If you have a provisional licence, and are convicted of certain traffic offences. (Your licence will be cancelled and you will be required to make an application for a new licence when the disqualification period has finished).
  • An immediate disqualification notice may be served if you are detected driving with a blood alcohol content of or above 0.08 or refuse to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine.

The document below is an extract from our publication Drive Safe. It provides a guide to the penalties for some of the most common traffic offences.

LBU_DL_B_DriveSafePart7c.pdf icon Drive Safe: Part 7 - Appendices Kb

  0.00% (zero) Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) provisions

Imposing a zero Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit on certain driver categories recognises the increased risk that drivers pose to passengers and other road users when driving with alcohol in their blood.

The following drivers are subject to a zero BAC limit:

  • Alcohol Offenders and Interlock restricted driver licence holders.
  • Drivers of omnibuses.
  • Drivers of passenger vehicles with capacity to carry more than 12 adult passengers, including the driver.
  • Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods.
  • Extraordinary licence holders.
  • Heavy vehicle drivers.
  • Novice drivers.
  • Recently disqualified drivers.
  • Taxi drivers.

Alcohol Offenders and Interlock-restricted drivers licence holders

The zero BAC limit applies to Alcohol offenders and Interlock restricted drivers and means that you cannot have any alcohol in your body while driving.

An Alcohol offender is a person who has been convicted of an alcohol interlock offence committed on or after the 24th October 2016.

An Interlock restricted drivers licence holder is any person who holds a drivers licence that is endorsed with an I condition. This includes a person who holds an Interlock restricted licence issued in WA or from another jurisdiction.

Novice Drivers

The zero BAC limit affects Novice drivers and means that you cannot have any alcohol in your body while driving.

A person is a Novice Driver until they have held a driver's licence for at least two (2) years or periods adding up to two (2) years. This may include:

  • A driver from overseas who has not held a driver's licence for at least two years.
  • A first time learner's permit holder.
  • The holder of a provisional driver's licence.
  • The holder of an extraordinary driver's licence.

Taxi drivers

The zero BAC limit affects taxi drivers and means that you cannot have any alcohol in your body while driving a taxi that is carrying passengers for hire or reward.

The legislation recognises that many taxis are used by operators or owners for private purposes when not being operated as a taxi. Similarly, some taxis operate only during peak periods and for the majority of the week they are used as private vehicles.

As such, the zero BAC limit only applies to a person driving a taxi when it is being used to carry passengers for hire or reward. If using a taxi for private purposes the 0.05% BAC limit applies.

Drivers of passenger vehicles with capacity to carry more than 12 adult passengers, including the driver

When a person is driving a vehicle that is equipped to seat more than 12 adult passengers, including the driver, the driver cannot have any alcohol in his or her body when carrying any passengers, regardless if they are paying or non-paying passengers.

Some examples of passenger vehicles equipped to carry more than 12 adult passengers including the driver are:

  • Buses.
  • Large people movers, and
  • Troop carriers.

If the driver is driving the vehicle alone with no passengers, the 0.05% BAC applies.

Drivers of omnibuses

The extension of the zero BAC limit affects Omnibus drivers and means that you cannot have any alcohol in your body while driving an Omnibus that is carrying passengers for hire or reward.

A driver of an omnibus as defined in the Transport Co-ordination Act 1966 will be subject to the zero BAC limit as follows:

Driving Omnibuses with more than 12 passenger seats including the driver:

  • When carrying any passengers, whether or not for hire or reward.

The 0.05% BAC limit will apply to the driver when the vehicle is not carrying passengers.

Omnibuses with 12 or less passenger seats including the driver:

  • A zero BAC when carrying passengers for hire or reward.

The 0.05% BAC limit will apply to the driver when the driver is alone or is carrying non-paying passengers, e.g. non-paying family members.

Examples of omnibuses include small charter vehicles such as limousines or luxury sedan vehicles, coaches and buses used for tours and/or charter. Novelty vehicles such as customised motorcycles and hot rods, when used for the carriage of passengers for hire and reward.

The legislation recognises that some of the smaller omnibuses (defined for the purposes of the Act to be vehicles with 12 or less passenger seats including the driver) are used by operators or owners for private purposes when not being operated as an omnibus.

As such, the zero BAC only applies to a person driving a smaller omnibus when it is being used to carry passengers for hire or reward. If using such an omnibus for private purposes the driver is subject to the 0.05% BAC limit.

Heavy vehicles drivers

The zero BAC limit affects drivers of vehicles with a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) in excess of 22.5 tonnes and means that you cannot have any alcohol in your body while driving such vehicles.

The GCM of a vehicle is the maximum loaded mass of the vehicle, including any trailers and their load. The GCM of a vehicle can be easily determined by checking the details indicated on the vehicle licence document.

Note that it is the driver's responsibility to confirm the vehicle's GCM. Where that weight exceeds 22.5 tonnes the zero BAC limit will apply to the driver.

Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods

The zero BAC limit affects drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods and means that a person driving a vehicle while it is carrying dangerous goods cannot have any alcohol in their body.

The consequences of a crash involving a motor vehicle carrying dangerous goods, as defined in the Dangerous Goods Safety Act 2004, could be severe. Dangerous goods may be highly volatile or may be noxious and present a health or environmental risk if spilled.

The carriage of dangerous goods elevates the risk in the event of a crash due the nature of the load.

As a result, drivers of motor vehicles transporting dangerous goods are required to be unimpaired by alcohol, ensuring they have a zero BAC when driving such a vehicle, at those times when that vehicle is carrying dangerous goods.

Regulations made under the Dangerous Goods Safety Act 2004 prescribe the classes of vehicle as follows:

  • A vehicle used to transport a load of dangerous goods that is a 'placard load' pursuant to the Dangerous Goods Safety (Road and Rail Transport of Non-explosives) Regulations 2007, regulation 107, and
  • A vehicle that is a 'placarded vehicle' pursuant to the Dangerous Goods Safety (Explosives) Regulations 2007, regulation 107.

Extraordinary licence holders

The zero BAC limit affects drivers who hold an Extraordinary Licence and means that they cannot have any alcohol in their body while driving. This law applies to all Extraordinary Licence holders irrespective of when the extraordinary licence was granted.

Recently disqualified drivers

Recently disqualified drivers are those persons who have been convicted of a drink or drug related offence for:

  • Driving under the Influence (0.15 BAC).
  • Refusing a breath, blood or urine sample.
  • Driving in excess of 0.08 BAC (2nd or subsequent offence).

The restriction applies for a period of three years and commences from the date on which:

  • The person's disqualification period finishes, or
  • On the day a prescribed offender is granted a licence.

Exemption for Emergency Services employees and volunteers

The extension of the zero BAC affects drivers of passenger vehicles with capacity to carry more than 12 adult passengers including the driver (for example, a bus) and vehicles with a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) in excess of 22.5 tonnes.

This means that drivers of these vehicles cannot have any alcohol in their bodies while driving such vehicles.

The law recognises that the application of zero BAC could impede the ability of some emergency services employees and volunteers to respond to an emergency, if in the course of responding to the incident they are required to drive one or other of these vehicles.

As such, the law provides an exemption from zero BAC for certain drivers (prescribed in regulation and outlined below). In this situation, the driver will continue to be subject to 0.05% BAC limit.

The exemption will ensure that those who respond to emergencies such as floods, fires, cyclones and earthquakes and participate in search and rescue missions will continue to be able to respond to call-outs at short notice. These people are vital to the State's emergency response capabilities.

The exemption is intended to apply to the following people:

  1. A registered member of an SES Unit approved under section 18C of the FESAWAA.
  2. A registered member of a VMRS Group approved under section 18H of the FESAWAA.
  3. A registered member of a FESA Unit approved under section 18M of the FESAWAA.
  4. A registered member of a Bush Fire Brigade established under section 41 of the Bush Fires Act 1954.
  5. A member of a Volunteer or Private Brigade that has been registered pursuant to section 49 of the Fire Brigades Act 1942 and whose membership has been approved by FESA.
  6. A person who works for a local government established under the Local Government Act 1995 either as an employee or a contractor.
  7. A private contractor whose services have been engaged by a person mentioned at (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) or (6) above, or by a person who works for FESA as a contractor.
  8. A person working under the direction of a person mentioned at (1) through (7) above.

When driving a passenger vehicle or heavy vehicle, as defined above, in circumstances other than responding to an incident, zero BAC limit will apply.

An incident is defined in the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia Act 1998 as a fire, a hazardous material incident, a natural disaster; or an accident or other event that may require the carrying out of a rescue operation including search and rescue and marine search and rescue or an assistance operation; or a monitoring activity.

  0.00% (zero) Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), first and subsequent offences

Drink driving penalties for novice drivers exceeding a 0.00% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) are:

  • A fine and accrual of demerit points.
  • A disqualification may also be applied.

Drink driving penalties for the below licence holders (a disqualification will result in a licence suspension):

  • Extraordinary licence holders and recently disqualified drivers.
  • Drivers of heavy vehicles.
  • Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous or explosive goods.
  • Bus drivers.
  • Small charter vehicle drivers, and
  • Taxi drivers.

Zero BAC, first and subsequent offences

BAC % Infringement Minimum court penalty Maximum court penalty Action
> 0 but < 0.02 $100 $150 $300 3 demerit points *
0.02 to < 0.05 - $150 $300 3 months disqualification: minimum

* At certain holiday periods (e.g. Easter and Christmas) and on long weekends, demerit points are doubled for alcohol, speed and some other offences.

  0.05% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and above, first and subsequent offences

Penalties for holders of a driver's licence who exceed the 0.05% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit are as follows:

First offence - BAC %: 0.05 to less than 0.08

BAC % Infringement Maximum court penalty Demerit points
0.05 to < 0.06 $400 $500 3 *
0.06 to < 0.07 $400 $500 4 *
0.07 to < 0.08 $400 $500 5 *

Court penalties - BAC % 0.05 to 0.15 or greater

BAC Penalty type 1st offence 2nd offence Subsequent offence*
0.05 < 0.07 Minimum See above $500 $500
0.05 < 0.07 Maximum See above $1,000 $1,000
0.05 < 0.07 Disqualification See above 6 months 8 months
0.07 < 0.08 Minimum See above $600 $600
0.07 < 0.08 Maximum See above $1,000 $1,000
0.07 < 0.08 Disqualification See above 8 months 10 months
0.08 < 0.09 Minimum $500 $600 $600
0.08 < 0.09 Maximum $1,500 $1,500 $1,500
0.08 < 0.09 Disqualification 6 Months 8 months 10 months
0.09 < 0.11 Minimum $550 $900 $900
0.09 < 0.11 Maximum $1,500 $1,500 $1.500
0.09 < 0.11 Disqualification 7 months 10 months 13 months
0.11 < 0.13 Minimum $650 $1,200 $1,200
0.11 < 0.13 Maximum $1,500 $2,000 $2,000
0.11 < 0.13 Disqualification 8 months 14 months 17 months
0.13 < 0.15 Minimum $750 $1,600 $1,600
0.13 < 0.15 Maximum $1,500 $2,500 $3,000
0.13 < 0.15 Disqualification 9 months 18 months 30 months
0.15 and > Minimum $900 $2,100 $2,100
0.15 and > Maximum $2,500 $3,500 $5,000
0.15 and > Disqualification 10 months 30 months Permanent

* The disqualification for repeat offences may differ and may order a licence cancellation, rather than a licence suspension. The above information is provided as a guide only.

Independent legal advice should be sought to determine the specific disqualification that will apply in individual circumstances.

  Speeding offences

Cars, motorcycles and other vehicles less than 22.5 tonnes Gross Combination Mass (GCM)

Please refer to the Road Safety Commission website for speeding offences for vehicles with a GCM of 22.5 tonnes or more.

Exceed the speed limit by Fine Demerit points *
Not more than 9 km/h 2 penalty units 0
More than 9 but not more than 19 km/h 4 penalty units 2
More than 20 but not more than 29 km/h 8 penalty units 3
More than 30 but not more than 40 km/h 16 penalty units 6
More than 40 km/h 20 penalty units 7

* At certain holiday periods (e.g. Easter and Christmas) and on long weekends, demerit points are doubled for alcohol, speed and some other offences.

Periods when 'double demerit' points are in force are publicised through the Western Australian media, but you must obey BAC and speed limits at all times.

The value of a penalty unit is $50.00. These penalties are reviewed from time to time. They are correct at date of publication.

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  Other traffic offences

Offence Fine Demerit points
Driving through a red light 6 penalty units 3 *
Failure to stop and give way at a stop sign 6 penalty units 3
Failure to give way at a give way sign 6 penalty units 3
Crossing continuous dividing lines, except when making a lawful turn 3 penalty units 3
Crossing the centre line of a road on a curve or crest when unable to see if the way is clear 3 penalty units 3
Driving through a yellow light 4 penalty units 2
Driving contrary to directions on road traffic signs 4 penalty units 3
Disobeying a hand signal or direction of a Police Officer, a Fire-Fighter, an Ambulance Officer or other authorised person 2 penalty units 3
Using a mobile phone while driving 8 penalty units 3 *
Driver not wearing a seatbelt (appropriately restrained passengers or no passengers) 11 penalty units 4 *
Driver not wearing a seatbelt with 1 unrestrained passenger 12 penalty units 4 *
Driver not wearing a seatbelt with 2 unrestrained passengers 14 penalty units 4 *
Driver not wearing a seatbelt with 3 unrestrained passenger 16 penalty units 4 *
Driver not wearing a seatbelt with 4 or more unrestrained passengers 18 penalty units 4 *
Driver wearing a seatbelt with 1 unrestrained passenger 11 penalty units 4 *
Driver wearing a seatbelt with 2 unrestrained passengers 12 penalty units 4 *
Driver wearing a seatbelt with 3 unrestrained passengers 14 penalty units 4 *
Driver wearing a seatbelt with 4 or more unrestrained passengers 16 penalty units 4 *
Passenger not wearing a seat belt 11 penalty units 0
Passenger not occupying a position with a seat belt 11 penalty units 0
Failure to stop at a children's crossing when in operation 6 penalty units 4
Passing a vehicle which is giving way at a children's crossing 8 penalty units 4
Failure to give way at a pedestrian crossing 6 penalty units 3
Passing a vehicle which is giving way at a pedestrian crossing 8 penalty units 4
Failure to give way to a vehicle on the right at an intersection 4 penalty units 3
Failure to give way to a pedestrian or oncoming vehicle when turning at an intersection; or to a pedestrian or other vehicle when making a U turn 4 penalty units 3
Failure to give way to an emergency vehicle 8 penalty units 4
Failure to give way to vehicles on a roundabout 3 penalty units 3
Failure to give way to vehicles when approaching from a terminating road (T junction) 4 penalty units 3
Wilfully causing excessive noise, smoke (e.g: a 'burnout') 2 penalty units 3 **
Passengers riding in back of utes (passengers) 11 penalty units 0
Passengers riding in back of utes (drivers) 10 penalty units 4 *

* At certain holiday periods (e.g Easter and Christmas) and on long weekends, demerit points are doubled for seat belt, driving, and riding in open load-space offences.

Periods when 'double demerit' points are in force are publicised through the Western Australian media.

** This offence may result in the impounding or confiscation of a vehicle.

The value of a penalty unit is $50.00. These penalties are reviewed from time to time. They are correct at date of publication.

 

Page last updated: Thu Dec 8 2016 11:04:39 AM