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DRINK DRIVING

DRINK DRIVING

There are two types of Drink Driving offences:

  • PCA offences. The Police proceed with these type of offences where an offender submits to breath analysis and provides a reading that is over the limit required by law.
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drug. Police normally proceed with these offences where an offender does not undergo breath analysis and the Police rely upon their observations or admissions by the offender to prove the person is under the influence of alcohol.

Five Different Types of PCA offences (Most common drink driving offence)

There are five different types of PCA offences:

  1. Novice Range PCA applies to learner and provisional licence holders who have a concentration of more than 0 gram but less than .02 grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
  2. Special Range PCA applies to learner and provisional licence holders, persons who's licence is suspended, cancelled or disqualified and people driving a vehicle for hire or reward. Special Range PCA applies to such people who have a blood alcohol concentration of .02 grams or more, but less than 0.05 grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
  3. Low Range PCA means a concentration of 0.05 grams of alcohol or more but less than 0.08 grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
  4. Mid Range PCA means a concentration of .08 grams of alcohol or more but less than 0.15 grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
  5. High Range PCA means a concentration of 0.15 grams or more of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

The table below outlines the penalties that can be imposed by the Court for a PCA offence. To make sense of the table below you should be aware of the meaning of the following terms:

Major offence: A major offence includes the following offences (uncommon offences are not included);

High Range PCA

Mid Range PCA

Low Range PCA

Special Range PCA

Novice Range PCA

Driving under the influence of alcohol.

Refuse breath analysis.

Driving Whilst Suspended, cancelled or disqualified.

Driving in a manner or speed dangerous to the public.

Minimum period of disqualification:

This is the minimum period of disqualification that a court can impose for a Drink Driving offence.

Automatic period of disqualification:

This is the period of disqualification that you can expect a court to impose for a drink driving offence.

Offence

Maximum fine

Maximum Prison sentence

Automatic disqualification 

Minimum disqualification

Novice range PCA

$1,100

Nil

6 months

3 months

Special range PCA

$1,100

Nil

6 months

3 months

Low range PCA

$1,100

Nil

6 months

3 months

Mid range PCA

$2,200

9 months

12 months

6 months

High range PCA

$3,300

18 months

3 years

12 months

Driving under the influence

$2,200

9 months

12 months

6 months

Refuse breath analysis

$3,300

18 months

3 years

12 months

Willfully alter blood concentration

$3,300

18 months

3 years

12 months

What the Court will take into Account

The court will take into account the following matters when determining the penalty that should be imposed:

1. The seriousness of the offence.

The court will consider the following matters:

a. The blood alcohol concentration. The higher the blood alcohol concentration the more serious the offence is viewed by the court.

b. Whether the driving involved any aggressive or erratic driving.

c. Whether there was an accident and whether someone was killed or injured.

d. Whether the driving was competitive or involved a degree of showing off.

e. The distance and period over which you were driving.

f. The number of persons actually put at risk by the driving.

g. The maximum penalty that may be imposed.

2. Your personal circumstances, which can include the following:

a. Any hardship that might be caused by a loss of licence.

b. The nature of your employment and your need for a licence in that employment.

c. The absence of any viable or alternate transport.

d. Any sickness or infirmity of you or another person whom you care for.

e. Your need for a licence.

3. Your character.

The Court will have regard to the following matters in relation to your character:

a. The nature and extent of your traffic record. Obviously the longer that you have held a driver's licence the more opportunity that you have to build up credit in the Court's eyes.

b. Your criminal record (if any).

c. Your general character including any volunteer work that you may undertake.

4. The court will also consider references. These references should seek to paint a picture of your character. The references may also confirm the major points that you or your solicitor will be putting to the Court.

For more information contact Armstrong Legal:

Level 4 127 York Street
Sydney, NSW 2000 (Opposite the Queen Victoria Building)
Phone: (02) 9261 4555
After Hours: 0404 55 88 33

http://www.armstronglegal.com.

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