Teenage boy and girl holding skateboards

Get your licence, finish school, turn 18 – perhaps buy your first drink. Lots of exciting things happening all at once – and they can be fun, but they can also be life changing.

One bad/poor decision can affect your family, your friends and other drivers on the road. 

The decision to get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs is never a good decision, and you don’t want it to be a decision you regret for the rest of your life.

Drinks

Alcohol is one of the highest contributing factors towards car crashes in WA. Just one drink slows your reaction time, affects your ability to make judgments, process information and see clearly.

But we all know that right? You wouldn’t get behind the wheel under the influence!

You probably won’t realise how much your driving ability is affected even after just one drink - until you’re tested.

If you’re going to a party or planning to drink - plan not to drive.

Plan to stay safe:

  • Let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to be home.
  • Agree with your friends ahead of time who’s going to be the designated driver.
  • Organise to stay the night if that’s an option.
  • Ask someone to pick you up - they would rather get a call from you than a knock on the door from a police officer.
  • Keep some safe money in your wallet to pay for a taxi or public transport (just in case).

Sometimes the best plans don’t work out. What if the designated driver decides to have a drink?

Have the courage to:

  • Speak up.
  • Say no to getting in the car.
  • Say yes to being a designated (non-drinking) driver.
  • Take a friend’s keys.
  • Have a plan B, just in case.

Drugs

Alcohol is a drug, but there are other drugs that can be just as dangerous when mixed with driving.

In WA it’s against the law for anyone to drive under the influence of a psychoactive drug (like cannabis or ecstasy). They affect your brain function and alter your perception and ability to concentrate, which impacts your driving ability.

But, did you know that common medication you might have on prescription or from the chemist (e.g. codeine) can also affect your ability to drive? Make sure you always use your medications properly and check the packaging instructions, or with your doctor, before you get behind the wheel.

Never mix your drugs and drive. Combining something like a prescription drug and alcohol will increase their effect and create a higher risk.

Remember, when you’re on your P’s (novice driver) you have a 0.00% Blood Alcohol limit. So if you drink and drive you could have your licence suspended (disqualified).