Centre for Road Safety

NSW has three blood alcohol limits:  zero BAC, under 0.02 and under 0.05.  These numbers refer to a person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

Your BAC is a measure of the amount of alcohol you have in your blood. The measurement is the number of grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

For example, a BAC of  0.05 means 0.05 grams or 50 milligrams of alcohol in every 100 millilitres of blood.

The limit which applies to you is dependent on the category of your licence and the type of vehicle you are driving.

Zero applies to:

  • ALL learner drivers.
  • ALL Provisional 1 drivers.
  • ALL Provisional 2 drivers.
  • ALL visiting drivers holding an overseas or interstate learner, provisional or equivalent licence. 

Under 0.02 applies to:

  • Drivers of vehicles of "gross vehicle mass" greater than 13.9 tonnes.
  • Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods.
  • Drivers of public vehicles such as taxi or bus drivers.

A BAC of 0.02 can be reached after the consumption of only one standard drink (a middy of beer, a nip of spirits or a small glass of wine).  This means that drivers subject to a 0.02 limit must not consume any alcohol before driving.

Under 0.05 applies to:

  • ALL other licences (including overseas and interstate licence holders) not subject to a 0.02 or zero limit.