Drink Driving

The penalties for drink driving can be severe

Drink Driving

If you are caught drink driving you will face harsh penalties. Your licence will be suspended immediately and you will receive a hefty fine. Depending upon the seriousness of the offence, you may also have to attend court and may ultimately receive a prison sentence.

If you are convicted by the court for drink or drug driving, this offence will remain on your criminal record, which can potentially impact on your future employment and your ability to travel.

Losing your licence

There are minimum and automatic disqualification periods for suspension of licence. The length of time you will be without a licence depends on the seriousness of the offence. Losing your licence, even for a short period of time, can be incredibly stressful and inconvenient. You may not be able to work, and even simple tasks like taking your kids to school or buying groceries, becomes much more difficult.

Our criminal and traffic lawyer will help you clearly explain the impact of a loss of licence to the court, or in your review paperwork, to potentially reduce any disqualification period.

PCA drink driving offences

If you have been caught driving with a breath test reading over the prescribed blood alcohol limits, you will be charged with a ‘prescribed concentration of alcohol offence’ (PCA). These are:

  • Novice/Special Range – Blood Alcohol Concentration of more than 0
  • Low Range – Blood Alcohol Concentration 0.05 to 0.079
  • Mid Range – Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08 to 0.15
  • High Range  – Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.15 or higher

A first-time low range drink driving charge will result in the police issuing you with an infringement notice. All other charges will require you to attend court.

The severity of the penalty you receive depends on a number of factors including your driving history, the level of alcohol in your system and the surrounding circumstances – for example if you were caught drink driving in a school zone, or if a person was injured.

All drink driving offences result in a disqualification from driving – the minimum period being for 3 months.

Driving under the influence (DUI)

A person can be charged with ‘driving under the influence’ (DUI) in circumstances where it is not possible for the police to get an accurate blood alcohol reading, or if you are suspected of driving under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs.

Drugs are detected through blood and urine tests which are ordered if a police officer has reasonable suspicion that a driver is under the influence of a drug. Witness and police accounts of the incident are also used to establish the offence. Penalties include a minimum 12-month suspension of licence, a fine and/or a prison sentence.

What can I do?

If you have been charged with drink driving it is important to get legal advice so that you minimise the potential impact on your life. It is possible to apply for a Section 10 or plead your case as to why your circumstances warrant a reduced penalty.

Contact our criminal and traffic lawyer today for a free initial 15 minute telephone conversation.

Why choose us

Our criminal and traffic lawyer will provide you with honest, up-front advice that considers your full circumstances.

  • Over 30 years of Court experience
  • Friendly, approachable and compassionate
  • Experience in Local Courts, District Courts, and the Supreme Court
  • Affordable fees
  • Convenient locations – Belmont, Warners Bay and Newcastle

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Our criminal and traffic team have over 30 years of experience