Drugs, alcohol, work and driving a fatal mix in Victoria

If you drive on Victoria’s roads as part of your job, it’s even more important that you know the dangers of drugs and alcohol and driving.

We know that the use drugs and alcohol can be a fatal combination on Victoria’s roads and in Victoria’s workplaces, so it goes without saying that if you drive for a job it’s even more important not to take drugs or consume alcohol.

WorkSafe Victoria has produced a Guide to safe work related driving that includes a section on drugs and alcohol as one of the major risk factors. Here are some of the important points from that section:

  • Most of us understand that the use of alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to safely use a vehicle, but did you know that if you have a blood alcohol concentration level of .05 you’re twice as likely to be involved in a crash?
  • It’s also interesting to note, that your susceptibility to injury increases in a crash, if you’ve been drinking alcohol.
  • Of course, it’s not just alcohol that’s an issue on Victoria’s roads. The presence of other drugs – such as cannabis and methamphetamines – in a driver will also increase the chances of having a crash.
  • While illegal drugs are of particular concern, drivers also need to be aware of the potential influence of medications they may be taking.

The guide recommends that Victorian workplaces and employees should reduce the risk of drugs and alcohol for working drivers by:

  • Having a drugs and alcohol policy for work related driving that includes zero tolerance (no drugs and no alcohol).
  • Avoiding or minimising the use of alcohol prior to driving
  • Complying with road rules in relation to the prescribed level of alcohol
  • Using transport alternatives at functions where alcohol is served, such as designated drivers, taxis, etc)
  • Taking into account the influence of medications before driving.

Drugs and alcohol not the only risk for Victorian work related drivers

Of course, drugs and alcohol aren’t the only risk on our roads for work related drivers (or for that matter any driver). Other major risk factors include speed, fatigue, mobile phone use, adverse conditions and in-vehicle distractions.

The Guide to safe work related driving highlights that the exposure to risks for those that drive for work can be greater than for the average person, simply because they spend more time on Victoria’s roads. In fact, research has shown that work vehicles travel about three times the distance of the average private car.

This is further borne out by research that shows that work vehicles have a higher rate of involvement in crashes per 10,000 registered vehicles per year than non-fleet vehicles. In addition, the guide states that, “Data from the Australian Safety and Compensation Council indicates that vehicle accidents represent 41% of all compensated work fatalities. These figures include all vehicles, but highlight the significance of work related driving as a safety issue.”

Workplace drug and alcohol management in Victoria

Integrity Sampling can provide advice for workplaces on all aspects of drug and alcohol management, and this includes management of those employees who drive as part of their job. We have locations in Victoria in Melbourne, Mildura, Shepparton, Traralgon and Warrnambool and can service most of the state.

Give us a call on 1300 SALIVA to find out how we can help you.


If you drive on Victoria’s roads as part of your job, it’s even more important that you know the dangers of drugs and alcohol and driving. Credit raymondclarkeimages https://www.flickr.com/photos/rclarkeimages/7919353864/

By Michael

Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Melbourne and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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