Low Range Drink Driving

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Section 9 (2) of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 creates the offence of driving with the low range of prescribed concentration of alcohol.

The low range is determined as that blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.05 and less than 0.08 grams alcohol per 100 mls of blood.

Section 9(2) states: A person must not, while there is present in his or her blood the low range prescribed concentration of alcohol:

  • drive a motor vehicle, or
  • occupy the driving seat of a motor vehicle and attempt to put the motor vehicle in motion, or
  • if the person is the holder of a driver licence (other than a provisional licence or a learner licence issued under the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1998) – occupy the seat in a motor vehicle next to a holder of a learner licence who is driving the vehicle.

Often those who are charged with this offence are somewhat surprised that they are over 0.05 and a common expression of dismay is along the lines of “I didn’t even feel affected”.

There are some “rule of thumb” guidelines for male and female drinkers suggesting that the average male can consume two standard drinks in the first hour and one standard drink per hour thereafter, and the average female one standard drink in the first hour and one per hour thereafter, however these guidelines should be treated with caution, as there are a number of factors which affect people differently.

Low Range Drink Driving Penalties

Below is a table outlining the penalties that apply once a court decides to record a conviction against you for the offence.

  Licence Disqualification
# of Offences Fine Prison Minimum Maximum
1st Offence $1100 nil 3 months 6 months
2 or More $2200 nil 6 months unlimited

If you have been charged with Low Range Drink Driving, you need skilled legal assistance. Call LAC Lawyers today on 1300 363 557 for advice.