Centre for Road Safety

Alcohol and other drugs can reduce your ability to drive safely.

Danger for drivers


Alcohol is a mood changing legal drug that slows down your central nervous system. 

Alcohol and driving shows how it affects your skills, mood and behaviour. Just a few drinks increases your blood alcohol concentration and as that rises, so does your risk of being in a crash.

Our Drink driving trauma trends (PDF, 217Kb) provides an overview on drink driving involvement in NSW.

Blood alcohol limits

NSW has three blood alcohol limits for drivers: zero, under 0.02 and under 0.05. The limit that applies to you depends on your licence and the type of vehicle you are driving.

Sobering up

Getting back to zero explains how long it can take to get alcohol out of your system. If you have had a lot to drink, you may be over the limit for much of the next day and should not drive.

Random breath testing

Since the introduction of random breath testing in 1982, deaths from alcohol related crashes on NSW roads have been greatly reduced.

Drugs and driving

It is dangerous for drivers and riders to take stimulants and other illegal drugs. Cannabis, cocaine and similar drugs affect your driving skills and concentration, even though you may think you are driving well.

Prescription drugs and over the counter medicines can also reduce your ability to drive safely. Mixing one drug with another, or mixing alcohol with other drugs, increases your risk of having a crash.

Our Drug driving trauma trends (PDF, 217Kb) provides an overview on drug driving involvement in NSW.

Mobile Drug Testing (MDT)

Roadside MDT by NSW Police operates alongside RBT for alcohol. MDT is increasing, with police conducting up to 200,000 roadside drug tests in NSW by the year 2020.

Plan ahead to get home

Our Getting home safely tips can help you plan ahead to avoid trying to drive if you are affected by alcohol or other drugs.

Help line

If you need help with alcohol or other drugs, call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on (02) 9361 8000 or the 24-hour support line on 1800 422 599.