Aussie farmer stunned by little-known driving rule

Did you know you can be charged for doing this?

It is well known across the country that drink driving is an offence. But, one Aussie farmer was shocked to find out this rule applies to driving on private property too.

Maddy, a young woman from New South Wales, got a warning from social media platform TikTok after posting a video from her car with a drink between her legs. Confused, she searched on Google to find out if there really was something wrong with what she was doing, only to find out you can be penalised for drink driving no matter where you are driving.

"To me that’s wild," she said. "You're clearly not allowed to do it on public land, but on your own private land I thought you could do what you want — you own that land."

Left image is of Maddy holding what appears to be a drink while in the car. Right image is a picture of Maddy's face.
Maddy was surprised to find out it is an offence to drive over the limit in many areas of the country. Source: TikTok

Is drink driving allowed on private property?

While each jurisdiction has its own legislation and legal precedents regarding the crime, in NSW, where Maddy is located, the Road Transport Act 2013 NSW states that residents cannot be breath-tested at their home. However, this does not mean they cannot be charged with drink driving at all.

If something happens — such as a car accident on private property that causes damage or death — police can arrest a person on their property and conduct a breath test at the station, then charge a person with drink driving if they are over the limit. They are also able to charge a person with 'driving under the influence' if they can prove the person was intoxicated while driving without a blood alcohol count.

In all other states and territories, if police reasonably suspect you have recently driven under the influence, they may request a person to be breath-tested, no matter where they are — and as such, a person can be charged if they are over the limit.

Drink driving is dangerous in any location

According to NSW Transport, drink driving is a factor in about one in every seven crashes in NSW where someone loses their life.

It impacts a person's ability to drive by:

  • slowing down the brain so a person can’t respond or react quickly enough.

  • reducing a driver's ability to judge speed or distance from other objects.

  • making a person drowsy which can lead to them even falling asleep at the wheel

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