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Law in Australia vs. Laws in the US?

What are some of the major differences in laws and penalties in Australia vs that of the United States? I want to move to Australia, and I am trying to learn everything I can before going! Thanks. Oh and I know that some laws differ from state to state in AU, so Let me add that I am considering moving to Melbourne or Sydney; probably Melbourne though.
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Haha I am not planning to commit a crime... Just Ive heard of fornication be illegal in places like Dubai and other countries banning certian drugs that are legal and over the counter in the US... I heard that somewhere Ginko is Illegal!

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Guns are illegal here.

What crime are you considering committing?....There's no death penalty here.

Ok some you may not know....
It is illegal to ride a bicycle without a helmet.
It is compulsary to vote.
Smoking is prohibited in enclosed public places in all states, and in other areas varying by state.
Aussie airports are "no-joking" zones...also don't bother bringing any food into Aus.

Mate - first up... most of our laws are uniform, regardless of the State. Penalties may differ - but drugs that are illegal in one State are pretty much illegal everywhere.

The immediate difference I can think of is Australia doesn't have the "3 strikes" law that some U.S. States have. We also DO NOT have the Death Penalty. Barbaric law - JMO. If anything, Australia probably has more "regulations" than America does. You can't just close off the street for a Block Party here. You need to apply to your local council for permits, etc., first. And fireworks are banned here. Barbaric law - but that's what you get for voting in idiots (JMO).

The only other MAJOR difference between Australia and America is our drink-driving laws. We don't have those crazy "sobriety tests" the Yanks carry out. We use technology. You cannot refuse a breathalyser test in Australia - and random breath tests are carried out all the time. So if you're pulled over for speeding, there is nothing stopping the John asking you to "blow in the bag". We also test drivers for drugs. And you can't refuse that test either. Australia has VERY strict drink-driving laws - and most States have a fleet of mobile "booze buses" that they regularly set-up to randomly check traffic. Basically, a new driver (probationary licence) MUST be zero at all times. A full licence holder must be under 0.05. Drinking and driving WILL see you lose your licence. So it's smart (if you're planning a boozy night out) to have a designated driver - whose job it is to take home all the designated drinkers. LOL

Hope that helps.

EDIT: Not ALL guns are illegal in Australia. Semi automatic and automatic guns are illegal. And only people with appropriate licences (like the Police and Security Guards) can carry a pistol. Shotguns and rifles abound here.

We also have a scree of weapons that are illegal - like throwing stars, switchblades, brass knuckles, etc. Go to if you want to see the complete list of banned weapons.

Just to add to the others mentioned, all passengers in a car must wear a seatbelt at all times, and children must use an approved child restraint - very strict.

uhm you can buy alcohol at the age of 18 rather than 21

Stupidity Leak
...... ALWAYS drive on the left - hand side of the road ......

Drinking age for alcohol.


Drinking age: 21 (seven states ban under-age consumption, 21 states do not specifically ban under-age consumption, 22 states have family member and/or location exceptions).

Buying age: 21 years.


Drinking age: Varies by State, but generally 18 in public premises in all States.

Victoria: it is deemed acceptable to serve alcohol to a minor in a private home if they are supervised by an adult - who does not have to be a parent.

NSW: adults can give under-18s alcohol as long as the minor's parent has given permission.

Buying age: 18 years.

On July 1, fines in NSW for supplying alcohol to minors rose to $11,000 and/or 12 months in jail

July 27, 2008
The Federal Government plans to unify laws across all states and territories to control the supply of alcohol to minors.

Laws are softer than the U.S like we do not have the death penalty, pfft. I think much of the U.S laws are similar to ours, except ours can be ridiculously dumb (banning of brass knuckles and lasers).

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