Statutory reductions for drug and/or excessive alcohol consumption

Under the Civil Liability Act 1936 (the CL Act), the amount you receive as compensation may be reduced through fixed statutory reductions:

  • If you (the injured person) were affected by drugs or alcohol while operating a motor vehicle and your intoxication contributed to the accident. For example, if your concentration of alcohol was more than .15 grams in 100 millilitres of blood, the fixed statutory reduction is 50% (that is, your assessed compensation may be reduced by 50%).
  • If an injured passenger who relied on the care and skill of the driver was aware, or ought to have been aware, that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident, it may result in a reduction of 25% to 50% of the passenger’s assessed compensation.

These statutory reductions reflect that severe criminal penalties apply in South Australia for drivers who are affected by alcohol or drugs while operating their vehicles, as these drivers present a significant danger to themselves, their passengers and other road users.

Other statutory reductions

In addition to alcohol or drug consumption, under Section 49 of the CL Act fixed statutory reductions of 25% may apply to injured people aged 16 or above who, at the time of the accident, were:

  • not wearing a seatbelt or helmet as required by the Road Traffic Act 1961, or
  • not sitting in correct passenger compartments (that is, if the injured person was a passenger on/in a vehicle with a passenger compartment but was not in that compartment at the time of the accident).