Drug driving

Drug driving is an emerging and serious road safety issue across Australia. Illicit drugs and some medications can vary and influence:

  • driving skills and capability
  • reaction times
  • alertness
  • vision.

It is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs. This includes some over the counter and prescription medicines. For more information about penalties,

Taking drugs before driving puts you at risk of injuring or killing yourself, your friends or others.

For more information on drug driving, its effects and penalties, visit the Alcohol drugs and driving section on the Northern Territory Government website.

Current initiatives

  • targeted enforcement of drink and drug driving
  • school and novice driver education programs
  • education through Aboriginal licensing programs
  • delivering driver education, licensing, and the Back on Track Drink Drug Driver Program in the Darwin and Alice Springs prisons
  • support for regional and remote passenger transport services
  • introduction of ride sharing for cost effective alternative transport.

What you can do

if you are going to take illicit drugs don’t drive:

  • plan how you will get home, or
  • stay the night

Do not drive while taking medicines with a warning label that tells you not to drive.

Do not drive if any medication affects your ability to control a vehicle.

Relevant Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2022 actions

 ActionsYearLeadSupport Safe System


Review penalties for drug driving and the process for prosecution



Police / AGD

Safe road use


Deliver a targeted drug driving community awareness campaign that is aligned with Police enforcement



DIPL / Police

Safe road use


Relates links