24 Feb

Blood Alcohol Concentration limits in Queensland

Drink Driving OffenceQueensland police have the power to intercept motorists for “random breath tests”.  They are looking to determine the quantity of alcohol in your breath or blood.  The reading is expressed as a percentage of your alcohol in your blood.  That is a BAC of 0.05 means that for every 100 millilitres of blood in your body you have 50 milligrams of alcohol.

BAC Limits

In Queensland there are four alcohol limits.  The limits are used to determine the action police can take if you are caught drink driving.  From immediate suspension or cancellation of your licence to forfeiture of your car, the BAC reading plays an important role in the drink driving process.  The duration of any disqualification is also determined by your BAC.

The limits that apply in Queensland are:

  1. No alcohol limit – you will exceed this limit of your BAC is greater than 0.0%
  2. General alcohol limit – you will exceed this limit if your BAC is equal to or greater than 0.05%
  3. Middle alcohol limit – you will exceed this limit if your BAC is equal to or greater than 0.10%
  4. High alcohol limit – you will exceed this limit if your BAC is equal to or greater than 0.15%

Legal BAC limits

All open licence holders except motor cyclists in their first twelve months and those in the no alcohol range may lawfully drive on Queensland roads with a BAC under the general alcohol limit.

No alcohol

All learner drivers, P1, P2 provisional, probationary or restricted licence holders are prohibited from having any alcohol regardless of their age.

This class of driver includes:

  • Public transport drivers such as bus, limo, or taxi drivers etc;
  • Truck drivers exceeding 4.5t, an articulated motor vehicle etc;
  • Tow truck drivers, pilot or drivers escorting an oversized vehicle;
  • Driver trainers while giving driver training;
  • A specially constructed vehicle, including a tractor; or
  • emergency service personnel while they are engaged in their employment.

Also included in the no alcohol class are all RE motorcycle licence holders during the first 12 months of their class of licence.

Factors affecting your BAC

There are a number of factors that impact upon your ability to absorb and expel alcohol from your system.  You should note that as soon as you consume alcohol your BAC will start to rise.  The level is unlikely to peak for up to an hour after you have stopped drinking and will remain in your system for some time.  Factors that affect the BAC include:

  • The quantity of alcohol consumed;
  • The period the alcohol is consumed over;
  • Your body weight
  • When you last ate;
  • Your fitness level;
  • The health of your liver;
  • How regularly you drink;
  • Your mood;
  • Your sex; and
  • The type of alcohol consumed.

The list is not exhaustive and there are many factors that impact upon your BAC. The safest approach is not to drink at all if you intend to drive. There are many people who are charged with drink driving because they have miscalculated one or more of the factors.


This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

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