The law:

In the state of NSW it is:

  • Illegal to sell alcohol to, or get alcohol for, anyone under 18
  • Illegal to sell alcohol to someone who is already drunk
  • An offence to drink or carry alcohol in an alcohol-free zone.


Alcohol is involved in around one-third of all road deaths and there are laws to limit the amount a person can drink before driving.

In Australia, the legal limit for drinking and driving for most people is .05 BAC.

In NSW the limit is zero for:

  • L- and P- plate drivers
  • drivers under 25, for their first three years of driving (if starting with P-plates)
  • drivers of heavy vehicles (like trucks), public passenger vehicles (like buses) and dangerous goods vehicles (like trucks carrying chemicals).


Regular drinking of alcohol during pregnancy can cause problems for the mother and the baby. Drinking a lot can lead to losing the baby before it is born or the baby being born with foetal alcohol syndrome (slow growth before and after birth, and mental disabilities). Doctors recommend that pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant should not drink alcohol at all.

You should contact your doctor for more information.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Alcohol may also adversely affect lactation, infant behaviour (eg: feeding) and psychomotor development of the breastfed baby.

For breastfeeding mothers, not drinking is the safest option, especially during the first month after delivery, until breastfeeding is well established. For women who choose to drink after this time, a doctor can provide advice on a recommended maximum level of drinks (eg two standard drinks or less in any one day) and how this affects breast milk.