Skip to content
Print Email Decrease Font Increase Font

Information for parents of young drivers

What can parents do?

Random roadside testing

Further information

Parents can play a key role in educating their children about drugs and driving, and encouraging safe and responsible driving habits.

What can parents do?

There are a number of things that parents can do to help ensure that when their children get behind the wheel of a vehicle on their own, they are well prepared to become safe drivers. For example:

Talk to your children

  • Be informed about safe driving so you can give your children accurate and up-to-date information. Read our fact sheet 'Staying safe on the roads: tips for young people'.
  • Discuss limits and boundaries in regards to what are acceptable and unacceptable driving behaviours.
  • Talk to your children and engage them in an open and honest conversation about drugs and alcohol and driving.
  • Educate your children about the risks of getting into a car with a driver who might have consumed alcohol or used drugs.

Set a good example

  • Support and encourage positive driving-related behaviours such as abiding by licence conditions, including having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) within the legal limit and not using drugs and driving.
  • Set a good example with your own driving. Drive safely and don't drink or use drugs and drive.
  • Be consistent in giving messages about alcohol and drug driving so children are not confused.

Have a plan

  • Help them to deal with any driving-related peer pressure.
  • Suggest that you will drop your children off at the place they are going to, and collect them later.
  • Have a back-up plan in place in case it is not safe to drive, or if the designated driver is unable to do so.
  • Develop a system whereby your children feel they can call you, or another designated person, if they need to be picked up, no matter where they are or what time it is. This may mean that discussions about what has occurred must wait until the next day when everyone has had time to think about the situation.
  • Encourage them to stay the night at a friend's place until they have a BAC of 0.00 and are fully recovered from the effects of the alcohol or other drugs they have used.

Random roadside testing

For learner and probationary drivers it is an offence, in all states and territories in Australia, to drive with any alcohol in their systems. That is, they must have a BAC of 0.00.

If a person has drunk a large amount of alcohol, they may still be over the BAC limit the next day. For more information, read the BAC page.

The devices used during the random roadside saliva testing for illicit drugs can detect some drugs approximately a day or more after use. For more information, read our fact sheet 'The facts about roadside drug testing'.

More legal information.

Further information


      Last updated: 23 June 2016 

    Information you heard is intended as a general guide only. This audio is copyrighted by the Australian Drug Foundation. Visit for more