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  • Drink Driving Offences

Drink driving offences are considered serious traffic offences in both NSW and Victoria.

Although the actual charges differ, the penalties for Exceeding Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) are severe and usually result in loss of licence and heavy fines.

If you have been charged with a drink driving offence in NSW or VIC, the penalties will  vary depending on if it is your first offence or if it is a subsequent offence.

Upon conviction of a drink driving offence a period of automatic licence disqualification applies without specific order of a court. A court has the power to reduce or extend the automatic disqualification period as it thinks fit, subject to the minimum periods outlined in those sections.

Below is a wealth of information about the different drink driving charges in NSW & Victoria and their respective penalties.

If you have been charged with drink driving and wish to minimise the penalty, contact LAC Lawyers today on 1300 309 551 (Sydney) or 1300 309 551 (Melbourne).

Drink Driving Offences In NSW

In New South Wales there are five (5) categories of offences for drink driving:

  • Novice Range PCA means a concentration of more than zero grams but less than 0.02 grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood- this range only applies to holders of learner or provisional licences;
  • Special Range PCA means a concentration of 0.02 grams or more, but less than 0.05 grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood – this range only applies to a “special category of driver” as defined in s 8 Road Transport (Safety & Traffic Management) Act 1999, and includes holders of learner or provisional licences, persons whose licences are suspended, cancelled or disqualified and persons who are driving a vehicle for hire or reward or in the course of trade or business or as a public passenger vehicle within the Passenger Transport Act 1990;
  • Low Range PCA means a concentration of 0.05 grams or more but less than 0.08 grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood;
  • Mid Range PCA means a concentration of 0.08 grams or more but less than 0.15 grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood;
  • High Range PCA means a concentration of 0.15 grams or more of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
 

Penalties for PCA offences depend on the type of offence and the prior traffic history. All PCA offences are major offences: s 25(1)(c)(iv) Road Transport (General) Act 1999 (NSW).

If you have been charged with Drink Driving in NSW, it is possible to minimise the penalty or even obtain a section 10 (which means you may be able to avoid license suspension). For more information about obtaining a section 10 or to minimise the impact of your drink driving charge, contact LAC Lawyers on 1300 309 551.

Drink Driving Offences in VIC

Victoria has some of the toughest drink driving laws in Australia including automatic disqualification for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of greater than 0.10 grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

The charge is known as Driving under the Influence (DUI) and the penalties for DUI in Victoria are outlined below (source Vic Roads)

BAC Licence type  Fine Licence action / points
Less than .05 Zero BAC licence (e.g. professional drivers, P licence, L permit) 2.5 penalty units

10 demerit points

.05 to less than .07 Zero BAC licence (e.g. professional drivers, P licence, L permit) and full licence (under 26 years) 3 penalty units Cancellation of licence/permit and disqualification for 6 months
.05 to less than .07 Full licence (26 years or older) 3 penalty units 10 demerit points

.07 to less than .15

All drivers 3 to 4.25 penalty units Cancellation of licence/permit and disqualification for 6-14 months depending on BAC
.15 or above;

or for a  subsequent offence
All drivers
Traffic infringement notices are not issued for BAC of .15 or above, or for subsequent offences. Charges are laid for the offence and the matter is dealt with at court.
Attend Magistrates’ Court
(see notes below)

 Retaining the services of LAC Lawyers can assist you in minimising your penalty. If you have been charged with drink driving - Driving Under The Influence (DUI), contact LAC Lawyers (Melbourne) today on 1300 309 551.

Drink Driving Lawyers

LAC Lawyers have a team of lawyers with the experience in drink driving cases that you need to get the best outcome. The following is a selection of our currently practicing drink driving lawyers.

 

Defences Available to a Drink Driving Charge

You may not be aware, but there are a number of defences available to a person charged with drink driving. Set out below are a few of the more common methods available to defend a drink driving charge:

  • Challenging the reading;
  • Honest & Reliable mistake;
  • The two hour rule;
  • The home safe rule.
 

Drink Driving Penalties

If you have been charged with a drink driving offence  you would have received a penalty in one (or a combination) of the following forms:

  • a fine;
  • licence disqualification; and
  • imprisonment.
 

Under the current legislation these Penalties will increase if you have been convicted of a previous major offence within the past five years. A major offence is an offence referred to in s25(1) Road Transport (General) Act 1999 NSW.

The courts in NSW and VIC take drink driving very seriously and the penalties are severe. To minimise the impact of your drink driving charge, contact LAC Lawyers on 1300 309 551 .

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Drink Driving Offences Articles

Traffic & Drink Drink Driving - NSW - Habitual Offenders - Penalties - Remissions and Appeals(Part 3)

Date: February 20, 2013
Author(s): Frank Egan B.A., LL.B., A.C.L.A., F.T.I.A. (Notary)
An habitual offender who has been registered as such by the Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) may make an application to have their 5-year disqualification period reduced. Generally the Courts may allow for remission if they are convinced that the additional penalty is disproportionate and has unjust consequences having regard to the offender’s total driving record and any special circumstances of the case.

Traffic & Drink Drink Driving - NSW - Habitual Offenders - Offences and Penalties(Part 1)

Date: February 19, 2013
Author(s): Frank Egan B.A., LL.B., A.C.L.A., F.T.I.A. (Notary)
In order to improve the efficacy of drink driving laws the NSW Government adopted the Habitual Offender Scheme. Under this scheme, repeat or habitual offenders are sanctioned by applying progressively harsher penalties to those who have committed multiple drink driving offences within a 5-year period.

Traffic & Drink Drink Driving - NSW - Habitual Offenders - Penalties(Part 2)

Date: February 19, 2013
Author(s): Frank Egan B.A., LL.B., A.C.L.A., F.T.I.A. (Notary)
Any person who has been declared as a Habitual Offender (HO) will be disqualified from driving for at least five years. This penalty applies automatically following a conviction irrespective whether it has been addressed at court.

Demerit Points Can Now Be Avoided By Making A Court Election

Date: March 17, 2011
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
As a result of a recent change of law, individuals charged with traffic offences can now avoid having demerit points imposed by the RTA if the charges are ultimately dismissed by a Court.

MERIT (Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment)

Date: March 17, 2011
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
The aim of MERIT is to break the cycle between drugs and crime by involving defendants in treatment and rehabilitation. Under a new trial funding arrangement, MERIT is being trialed at Manly and Wollongong Local Courts for adults with alcohol problems.

The Difference between Prescribed Concerntration of Alcohol (PCA) Offences and Drive Under Influence (DUI) of Alcohol or Drug

Date: March 10, 2011
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Police are able to conduct breath tests on drivers in NSW under certain circumstances. When a driver has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, when stopped for their manner of driving, or as it often the case at random breath test stations.

Drink Driving - What Happens When You Go To Court

Date: November 10, 2010
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Check out our step by step guide on the court porcess for drink driving.

Criminal Law - Sentencing in the Local Court

Date: October 08, 2010
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Often I am asked by my clients who have been charged with common offences such as assault or drink driving what the likely result will be if they enter a plea of “Guilty”. This is not a question which can be answered with much certainty given that even when to individuals are charged with exactly the same charge, the possible outcome when it comes to that individual’s sentencing can vary according to factors such as in which Local Court the matter is dealt with, which Magistrate determines the sentence, the sentencing options available to the Magistrate and the individual’s subjective circumstances.

Criminal Law - Traffic Matters - Drink Driving - Shall I Fight the Charges?

Date: July 04, 2009
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
There goes the saying, “If you drink and drive you’re a bloody idiot”. However, it is easier said than done. Sometimes when we monitor our intake of alcoholic drinks and are sure that we are under the limit, we would then be surprised to find out that we are over the limit. Victoria, if your BAC reading is 0.07 or more, you will lose your drivers’ licence. So, do you take it on the chin or do you fight the charge?

Criminal Law - Drink Driving Summary

Date: October 21, 2008
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Everything you need to know about drink driving...

Criminal Law - Traffic Offenders Program

Date: October 21, 2008
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Some common questions about the Traffic Offenders Program

Drink Driving - Your Rights, Police Powers, Court Penalties

Date: September 01, 2008
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Read on to find a list of commonly asked questions as well as an overview of likely penalties according to your Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA).

Criminal Law - Pleading guilty? Make yourself the favourite!

Date: May 14, 2008
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
In a large number of criminal cases a person will plead guilty. It is then up to his legal representative to submit what is called a plea in mitigation. In other words the advocate will make submissions to the Court for the purpose of obtaining the most lenient sentence possible.

Drink Driving - Legal Representation Is Your Best Bet

Date: December 13, 2007
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Drink Driving is a crime that people, including professionals, are increasingly being charged with nowadays. On many occasions it is a first offence where one misjudges how much they had consumed, assumes they are within their legal limit to drive, and are then, to their misfortune, stopped by Police and charged.

Criminal Law - Drink Driving Offences (Vic.)

Date: December 18, 2006
Author(s): Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.

What to expect when you call LAC Lawyers

Date: December 13, 2006
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
LAC Lawyers is a full service firm dedicated to the provision of superior legal services in Australia. Our aim is to provide unrivalled client satisfaction coupled with high quality service and advice. When you call LAC Lawyers our friendly reception staff will spend time with you to identify the area of law your enquiry relates to then pass you on to one of our qualified solicitor's who can help you.

Criminal Law - Serious Traffic and Drink Driving Offences

Date: February 16, 2006
Author(s): LAC Lawyers

Criminal Law - Sentence and penalty options available to courts if convicted of a criminal offence

Date: September 26, 2005
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Murder. Bigamy. Robbery. Bushfires. Terrorism. Domestic violence. Computer offences. Concealing the birth of a child. Fraud. Rape. The list of criminal offences for which a person may be convicted in any Australian jurisdiction is extensive.

The Criminal Aftermath of Drink Driving: Penalties and Sentences

Date: September 22, 2005
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Drink driving is an offence under the Road Transport (Safety & Traffic Management) Act 1999 (NSW) (the “Act”). In New South Wales there are effectively five categories of “prescribed concentration of alcohol” (PCA) offences.

Drink Driving Offences Lawyers

Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.

Position: Senior Solicitor
Michael Pickering is our most senior solicitor employed in the Melbourne Branch of LAC Lawyers Pty Ltd. He deals with a wide range of matters. He has over 30 years experience as a lawyer which he applies for the benefit of clients whether large or small.

Scott Gray LPAB, Grad. Dip. Legal Practice

Position: Solicitor
Scott is result driven and strives to ensure each client achieves complete satisfaction throughout the life of their matter. He understands the stress that many clients experience and is always available to assist and discuss specific requirements as well as explain industry processes and procedures in a clear and concise manner.

Drink Driving Offences Links

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