What are Malaysia's laws on drinking and driving? (2023)

This article is for general informational purposes only and is not meant to be used or construed as legal advice in any manner whatsoever. All articles have been scrutinized by a practicing lawyer to ensure accuracy.

According to a study done by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, about 23.3% of drivers in fatal accidents were tested positive for alcohol, according to this study done in 2012. A drunk driver is 13 times more likely to cause an accident compared to a sober one. But we’re not just talking about the traffic accidents caused by drunk driving, there’s are also legal consequences when you drink and drive.

What are Malaysia's laws on drinking and driving? (1)

Before we get into the specifics of what the legal consequences are if you get caught drunk driving, let’s talk about what constitutes drunk driving. Also, just to preface everything; the police have the right to ask you to take a breathalyzer test if they think it’s reasonable, and you can’t refuse it. We’ll also be discussing this throughout the article.

What is drunk driving?

What are Malaysia's laws on drinking and driving? (2)

Contrary to popular belief, you won’t immediately get into trouble with the police if you’ve been drinking a smidge of that delicious red wine and going behind the wheel. The amount of alcohol in you that’s enough to get you into hot water is covered under section 45G of the Road Transport Act 1987:

―prescribed limit‖ means—

(a) 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath;

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(b) 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood; or

(c) 107 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine.

Let’s use the blood alcohol content (BAC) as the standard as it’s probably the easiest to understand. How much do you have to drink to get 0.08% (80 milligramsof alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood) BAC? According to BACtrack, conventional wisdom cites that you’re fine if you down a standard drink per hour. TheNational Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines a standard drink as 354ml of beer, or 148ml of wine. As a frame of reference, 1 pint is 473 milliliters.

The numbers can be misleading because different people can reach 0.08% BAC because of different physique and metabolism. The easiest way toknow for sure is if you have your own breathalyzer. That brings us to section 45B of the Road Transport Act 1987, which gives power to the police to administer breath tests. Breath tests are not the only way to test for BAC, but they’re the most common one because breathalyzers are portable. Any police officer in uniform can administer a breath test if they suspect:

  1. The personhas committed an offence under section 44 or 45 or 45A (drunk driving, in charge of vehicle while drunk), or
  2. The personhas been involved in a traffic accident involving 1 or more vehicle

Now that we sort of know what levels BAC will leave a person intoxicated and unable to drive, what are the laws that govern drunk driving?

You don’t actually have to be driving the vehicle to get into trouble

What are Malaysia's laws on drinking and driving? (3)

According to section 45 and 45A of the Road Transport Act 1987, you can commit an offence merely by being in your car if your BAC levels are too high. Both those sections will be discussed shortly.

(Video) Drink Driving Offences in Malaysia

First lets take a look at section 43 of the same Act. Section 43 says that a person who drives ‘without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for another persons using the road’ is guilty of an offence. Drunk driving is certainly punishable under this section, and if found guilty, offenders can expect to pay a fine of up to RM 10,000 and a maximum period of imprisonment of 12 months.

Section 44 of the Road Transport Act 1987 is themost direct way you can be liable for a drunk driving charge.

(1) Any person who, when driving a motor vehicle on a road or other public place—

(a) is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug, to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle; or

(b) has so much alcohol in his body that the proportion of it in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit, and causes the death of or injury to any person shall be guilty of an offence...

Basically, if you operate a motor vehicle in any public place when you’re drunk to the point where you can’t really control the vehicle or your BAC levels exceed the legal limits, you commit an offence under section 44. The section is worded in such a way that you’ll be guilty whether you’re OBVIOUSLY drunk and driving, or you don’t look drunk (but your BAC levels exceed the legal limits). Upon convictionunder section 44 the offender has to pay a fine of not less than RM 8,000, up to a maximum of RM 20,000 and jail time of a minimum of 3 years.


Section 45 and 45Agive the police officers certain powers of discretion and are more specifically targeted at people who in charge of a vehicle when they are intoxicated or have BAC levels above the prescribed limit. What does being in charge mean? It is whether the person in the circumstances there is a realistic possibility of the person taking control of the vehicle.

For example, a very drunk guy is sitting in his car in a parked position, and not driving it.

If a police officer finds him in this situation and either sees that he’s so smashed that he’s not fit to drive, or manages to make the guy take a breathalyzer test and his BAC levels are way off the charts, the guy can be liable under section 45 and/or 45A.

If found guilty under section 45 and/or 45A, what awaits may be a fine of up to RM 1,000 and imprisonment of up to 3 months on the first conviction. Subsequent offenceswill net the offender a finebetweenRM 2,000 and RM 6,000 and jail time of up to 12 months. Remember though that you won’t be liable under section 45 or 45A if there’s no possibility of you piloting the vehicle. Maybe take a nap in the passengers’ seat instead of the drivers’ seat when you’re drunk.

The police can arrest you on the spot if your breath is alcoholicious

What are Malaysia's laws on drinking and driving? (4)

Yep, under section 45B of the Road Transport Act 1987:

(5) A police officer in uniform may arrest a person without warrant if—

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(a) as a result of a breath test he has reasonable cause to suspect that the proportion of alcohol in that person‘s breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit; or

(b) that person has failed to provide a specimen of breath for a breath test when required to do so in pursuance of this section and the police officer has reasonable cause to suspect that he has alcohol in his body, but a person shall not be arrested by virtue of this subsection when he is at a hospital as a patient.

The cops can haul you in if you fail the breath test. Not only that, if you fail to, or refuse to provide your nice fermented breath to the police officer that administered the breath test, they can take you in. To further punish this sort of behaviour, failure to provide a breath specimen when required will net you a fine between RM 1,000 and RM 6,000 and jail time of up to 12 months for the first offence. Subsequent offences will result in a fine between RM 2,000 and RM 1,000, and imprisonment of up to 2 years.

If for any reason the courts think that offenders deserve it, their driving licences can also be suspended temporarily or revoked permanently.

Don’t drink and drive

The Malaysian authorities clearly take driving under influence very, very seriously, and for good reason. As mentioned above, a drunk driver is exponentially more likely to cause traffic accidents, and according to authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, 21 billionmiles are being driven by drunk drivers every year in the United States alone.These statistics are not to encourage people to drink and drive; on the contrary, it is to make people realize how scary reality is.

Please, don’t drink and drive. It doesn’t only endanger your life, it endangers other people’s lives. Get a friend to call you an Uber, Grab or taxi to go home if you’re too sloshed to drive. If you know anyone who has problems with alcohol, you can direct them to Alcoholics Anonymous Malaysia’s website here. They are an organization dedicated to helping people who have problems with alcohol, with positive results.

(Video) 6 Things You Should NEVER Do in Malaysia 🇲🇾 Don't Do This in Kuala Lumpur


What are Malaysia's laws on drinking and driving? ›

Section 45 makes it an offence to be in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or public place whilst being unfit to drive the vehicle because they are under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs to the extent that they are incapable of properly controlling the vehicle.

What is the penalty for drink and drive in Malaysia? ›

The first conviction of drunk driving in Malaysia can result in a fine of not less than RM 10,000.00 and not more than RM 30,000.00 AND imprisonment for a term not exceeding two (2) years, as stipulated under the amended section 45A as in the Road Transport (Amendment) Act 2020.

What is the drinking rule in Malaysia? ›

There are no nationwide alcohol bans being enforced in the country, with the exception of Kelantan and Terengganu which is only for Muslims. The Islamic party respects the rights of non-Muslims with non-Muslim establishments like Chinese restaurants and grocery shops being excluded from such bans.

What country has the strictest drink driving laws? ›

Europe has some of the strictest drink drive limits and rules in the world, with Malta, Liechtenstein and Armenia being the only EU nations to have a BAC above 0.05%.

What is permissible alcohol limit in Malaysia? ›

The prescribed limit of alcohol as provided under Section 45G of the Road Transport Act 1987 is: 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath; 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood; or.

Can you bring alcohol into Malaysia? ›

Dutiable Goods

Subject to Customs Duties Order, travellers are required to pay customs duty at a flat rate of 30% ad valorem. In the case of alcoholic beverages, tyres, spirits, tobacco, cigarettes and motor vehicles, the rate of duty will be based on prevailing Customs Duties Order.

What happens if you drink drive in Singapore? ›

The driver will receive a 2-year minimum ban from driving, unless the Court has special reasons not to disqualify the driver. A repeat or two-time offender will be jailed for a maximum of 2 years. The Court will also impose a maximum fine of $5,000 penalty (not exceeding $20,000).

Can I hand carry alcohol to Malaysia? ›

Malaysia duty free

The following goods may be imported into Malaysia without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 225g of tobacco. 1L of alcoholic drinks. Food up to the value of RM150.

How much is a beer in Malaysia? ›

Cost of Living in Malaysia
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)16.95RM
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught)15.00RM
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle)18.00RM
Cappuccino (regular)11.54RM
62 more rows

Why is alcohol so expensive in Malaysia? ›

Its a 'sin' tax..... beer is expensive in Malaysia..as is wine. Majority of the population In Malaysia is Muslim that forbid alcoholic drink. So drinker are non Muslim and must be punished for" drinking" henceforth the heavy taxes on this drink and do not hurt the Muslim.

What country is a DUI punishable by death? ›

Answer and Explanation: The only country to impose the death penalty for drunk driving in Taiwan. This only happens when drunk driving results in an accident where a person dies.

What country can handle alcohol the best? ›

World's 10 best drinking nations
  • China — Chinese Baijiu is a white spirit that can also be used as an industrial-strength cleaner. ...
  • Great Britain — ...
  • Australia — ...
  • Germany — ...
  • Uganda — ...
  • South Korea — ...
  • Moldova — ...
  • Ecuador —
Mar 15, 2013

What countries have no DUI laws? ›

Here is a list of other places which have no legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit:
  • Anguilla.
  • Antigua and Barbuda.
  • Marshall Islands.
  • Bolivia.
  • Burkina Faso.
  • Burundi.
  • Somalia.
  • Grenada.
Sep 11, 2018

What kind of alcohol do Malaysians drink? ›

Malaysia has a spirited history. Ask any local bartender, and they'll be able to name three kinds of staple local alcohols – toddy (palm wine), samsu (a cheap liquor that's not recommended unless you wish to challenge your liver), and tuak (Sarawakian rice wine).

What is the legal age in Malaysia? ›

The age of majority in Malaysia is 18 years old. Under section 2 of the Age of Majority Act 1971 (AOMA 1971), the minority of all males and females shall cease and every such male and female attaining that age shall be of the age of majority.

What percentage of Malaysians drink alcohol? ›

Seventy per cent of Chinese, 11% of Malays and 42% of Indians have used or are currently using alcohol-a vast majority of them were social drinkers.

How much usd can i carry to Malaysia? ›

There is no limit for a resident and non-resident to carry into and out of Malaysia foreign currency notes and traveller's cheques but need to declare in Customs Form 22 (Borang Kastam 22) if total amount exceed USD 10,000 equivalent.

What cannot bring in Malaysia? ›

These prohibited items are banned completely from import into Malaysia:
  • Knives and daggers.
  • Pens and pencils.
  • Goods that look like syringes.
  • Indecent or pornographic material of any description.
  • Counterfeit money.
  • Chemicals that are poisonous.
  • Cloth with prints or duplicates of verses from the Quran.

What can you not take to Malaysia? ›

You should not bring any replica weapons, firearms or ammunition into Malaysia. You may be detained and charged. Homosexual acts are illegal in Malaysia and punishable under federal law. You should avoid any behaviour which could attract unwanted attention, including public displays of affection.

Can tourists drink in Singapore? ›

Liquor Control Zones

It's illegal to drink alcohol in a public place (besides restaurants, bars and licenced entertainment venues) between 10:30pm and 7am. Geylang and Little India are 'Liquor Control Zones'. Drinking in these areas is banned all weekend, on public holidays and on the eve of public holidays.

Can I drink while walking in Singapore? ›

2. No Consumption Of Alcohol In A Public Place After 10:30 PM. The statute also dictates that the consumption of alcohol in public spaces between 10.30pm and 7am is prohibited as well. Violators that are caught drinking outside past the stipulated timing may be fined up to S$1000.

Do you go to jail for drink driving Australia? ›

If you're caught drink driving, you will have to go to court. A magistrate will decide the length of your licence disqualification and whether you will be fined or sentenced to a term of imprisonment. The severity of the penalty will depend on your: blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the offence.

What is not allowed in hand carry to Malaysia? ›

Compressed gasses, corrosives, poisons, flammable liquids, mercury, deadly weapons, acids, oxidizing, materials of explosives, radioactive materials, magnet materials and undeclared ammunition must not be carried on board and aircraft as checked or carry-on baggage.

Can I bring whiskey to Malaysia? ›

You may bring alcoholic beverages back with you, as long as they are in their retail packaging, with an alcoholic content of 24-70%. Each passenger is entitled to a total net quantity of 5 litres per person, either in your checked or cabin baggage.

Can you check in alcohol on a plane Malaysia? ›

Hello, Nimnim. Thank you for contacting us. Please be advised that you are allowed to check in 1 litre of liquor. You may carry bottles of liquor according to the check-in baggage allowance.

What is a good salary in Malaysia? ›

A country's average salary can be a good indicator of how much an employee typically earns. According to Salary Explorer, the average salary in Malaysia is 79,000 MYR annually (17,805 USD). The typical salary range in Malaysia is 1,670 MYR (lowest average monthly salary to 29,400 MYR (highest average monthly salary).

What is the most popular alcohol in Malaysia? ›

Beer is by far the most popular drink in Malaysia and makes up for 76 per cent of the total alcohol consumed there. Malaysia is also home to some really fine breweries.

Is Malaysia expensive to live in? ›

While international workers in Malaysia can expect a relatively low wage compared to the national average, the cost of living in Malaysia is much lower than most Western countries and other expat hotspots in Asia, such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

What is the most consumed beverage in Malaysia? ›

1. Teh Tarik. Many Malaysians consider this their national drink. Teh tarik (which literally means 'pulled tea') is made of strong, locally-sourced black tea combined with either condensed or evaporated milk (usually condensed, because it's sweeter), and maybe some sugar if it's not sweet enough.

Is Malaysia a cheap country? ›

MALAYSIA. Malaysia is a top holiday destination and one of the cheapest countries in Southeast Asia to visit. However, It's strong economy and prosperous capital of Kuala Lumpur may make it seem as if it's an expensive country to visit, but that is not always the case.

Which country has the most expensive alcohol in the world? ›

Even though Qatar is known for having very expensive beer, other countries are known for having expensive spirits and wine. Finland and Sweden are among the most expensive countries in the world for those looking to buy alcohol of any type, as are Ireland and Turkey.

What is the punishment for drunk driving in USA? ›

Penalties that you may face if you are convicted of a DUI can include imprisonment, fines, mandatory alcohol assessment and treatment, community service, and probation. In many states, you will not face a long period of imprisonment for a first offense DUI because it is treated as a misdemeanor.

Is drunk driving illegal in Russia? ›

(Russia's Duma Passes Tough Law on Drunk-Driving, RUSSIA TODAY (Mar. 13, 2013).) As of September 1, 2013, driving while intoxicated will be punishable with an administrative fine of between RUB30,000-50,000 (about US$920-1,600) or suspension of the driver's license for up to three years.

What is the US death toll for drunk driving? ›

About 31% of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher). In 2021, there were 13,384 people killed in these preventable crashes. In fact, on average over the 10-year period from 2012-2021, about 10,850 people died every year in drunk-driving crashes.

What is the drunkest state in the United States? ›

Wisconsin is the drunkest state in America, according to research conducted by 24/7 WallSt, utilizing data from Country Health Rankings. 25.2% of Wisconsin adults drink heavily, which is 6% more than the national average.

What is the most sober country? ›

Afghanistan. According to the World Health Organization, pure alcohol consumption in Afghanistan is almost non-existent, with a record of 0.013 liters in 2019. Men consumed at least 0.022 liters, while women almost had an insignificant consumption of 0.003 liters.

What is the most alcoholic drink in the world? ›

What type of alcohol is the strongest in the world? Spirytus, a 96% alcohol by volume vodka created in Poland, is the strongest alcoholic beverage in the world (ABV).

Where are the most DUI in America? ›

The four most dangerous states (Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana and Idaho) for drunk driving share the same geographic region. The three least dangerous states also share a geographic region: District of Columbia had the fewest drunk driving issues, followed by New York and Pennsylvania.

What is the lowest DUI limit in USA? ›

Across the United States, the legal limit is . 08%. If your BAC is above this level, you are presumed intoxicated in every state. However, many states also have other limits in place as well.

Can I go to Dubai with a DUI? ›

Qatar, Dubai & Other Persian Gulf Countries

A DWI may be enough to disqualify a person from obtaining this clearance. Past that, entry is often up to the discretion of the immigration officer, so travelers worried about a DWI on their record should call the consulate or embassy ahead of time for advice.

How safe is Malaysia to travel? ›

There is a threat of kidnappings-for-ransom from both terrorist and criminal groups. These groups may attack with little to no warning, targeting coastal resorts, island resorts, and boats ferrying tourists to resort islands.

Which Asians drink the most alcohol? ›

People in South Korea are the most prolific drinkers in Asia, according to the WHO. South Koreans over the age of 15 on average drink 10.9 litres of alcohol a year.

What is the local beer in Malaysia? ›

Well, wonder no more, as there is finally an actual, proper Malaysian-brewed craft beer in town. Currently available at the newly opened Tap Room at Bamboo Hills in Kuala Lumpur, Paperkite is a new craft beer range that is 100% brewed in Malaysia by Malaysians.

What age can you get a girlfriend in Malaysia? ›

According to the Malaysian Penal Code (Act 574), Section 375, the age of consent to have sex in Malaysia is at 16 years old.

What is the illegal marriage age in Malaysia? ›

As for non-Muslims, Section 10 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (LRA) states that the minimum legal marriage age is 18 for men and women. It is worth mentioning that LRA clearly states that the marriage of non-Muslims under 16 cannot be legalised under any circumstances.

At what age can a girl get married in Malaysia? ›

Under this dual legal system, the legal minimum age of marriage for Muslim men is 18 and 16 for women; for non-Muslim men and women, the legal minimum age is 18. Malaysia's Federal Constitution gave each state the power to implement and change certain sections of the law as they see fit.

What is the drunk limit in Malaysia? ›

50 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

Which ethnicity drinks the most alcohol? ›

While Caucasians have the highest drinking rates, they do not have as many genetic differences compared to most other races, and also do not develop the greatest number of AUDs.

What is the alcohol tax in Malaysia? ›

The rate of excise duties vary from a composite rate of MYR 1.10 per litre and 15% of the value for certain types of spirituous beverages, to as much as 105% of the value of motorcars (depending on engine capacity).

What are the drink driving penalties for a driver? ›

If you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will be automatically fined and disqualified from driving for a set period of time. Repeated or serious breaches may result in you being sentenced to prison.

How much can you drink and drive Singapore? ›

Singapore's legal drink-driving limit is strictly enforced at 80 milligrams per 100ml of blood, or 0.08% blood alcohol content.

What are the maximum penalties for drink driving in Hong Kong? ›

Drink driving is a serious criminal offence and will cost you a maximum fine of HK$25,000, up to 3 years' imprisonment and 10 driving-offence points. You will also be disqualified from driving for six months to five years.

Is driving without license a criminal offence in Malaysia? ›

It's illegal to drive without a licence – that's pretty common knowledge. The punishment for driving without a valid licence can go up to MYR 1000 in fines, and/or three months' imprisonment.

What is 3 times the legal limit? ›

The legal limit of alcohol is . 08%. Three times the legal limit would be 0.24%. If your BAC is three times above the legal limit, you would likely face enhanced drunk driving penalties in many states.

What is the punishment for drinking and driving in us? ›

Penalties that you may face if you are convicted of a DUI can include imprisonment, fines, mandatory alcohol assessment and treatment, community service, and probation. In many states, you will not face a long period of imprisonment for a first offense DUI because it is treated as a misdemeanor.

What's the drink drive limit in UK? ›

Drink driving

The legal alcohol limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for driving is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood or 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

How many drinks can you have and drive Australia? ›

In Australia, it is an offence to drive while your BAC is 0.05 or above*. Your BAC should remain below 0.05 if you: drink no more than two standard drinks in the first hour and one per hour thereafter (for men of average size); or. drink no more than one standard drink per hour (for women of average size).

How many drinks can you have and drive Ireland? ›

The current drink-driving limit is a BAC of 50mg. This means 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. For professional, learner and novice drivers the limit is a BAC of 20mg. Most people will have a BAC of 20 to 50mg after 1 standard drink.

What is the penalty for drink driving causing death in Singapore? ›

A first-time offender convicted of dangerous driving causing death or grievous hurt under Section 64 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 will be liable for up to eight years in jail (in the case of death caused) or up to 5 years in jail (in the case of grievous hurt caused).

What is the Canadian drinking age? ›

Legal drinking age versus per capita

Standard drinks per week per person are calculated for each person of legal drinking age in Canada. The legal drinking age is 19 years and older in every province and territory except Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta where it is 18 years and older.

What is the penalty for drink driving in Netherlands? ›

Drivers who are caught for driving under the influence are often punished with one or more of the following measures: a fine, suspension of the driving licence, an educational measure, or an examination of fitness to drive.

Can you buy a car in Malaysia without a license? ›

You have a valid passport and a Malaysian visa. You have a driver's license valid in Malaysia. You're the owner of the car and have the original registration documents.

What is the fine for motorcycle in Malaysia? ›

You can also go to jail for not having motorcycle insurance!

This means that the accused would be sent straight to the Magistrate's Court and subjected to the mercy of the judge. Motorcyclists who are found guilty could be fined up to RM2,000 or three months in jail, or both, under Section 90 of the Road Transport Act.

Can I drive with my license in Malaysia? ›

Upon arrival to Malaysia, you are allowed to drive around with an international driver's license for a total period of 90 days. After the 90 days, you will be required to convert your foreign driving license into a Malaysia Driving License.


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