Drink Driving Offences

Drink Driving Offences

Being arrested will be a frightening traumatic and confusing time for most people. We will guide you through the whole process and ensure that in the first instance we advise you on the lawfulness of the arrest. Indeed, from our experience, there arises many occasions where the arrest itself is unlawful.

The guide for legal blood alcohol levels includes:

  • Novice range – 0.00 to 0.019
  • Special range – 0.02 to 0.049
  • Low range – 0.05 to 0.079
  • Mid-range – 0.08 to 0.149
  • High range – 0.15 and higher

Each range has a different penalty that can be imposed. Past offences can affect how high the penalty can be increased.

Depending on your blood alcohol reading, if it’s your first offence you can expect to receive a licence disqualification anywhere between 3 months to 3 years.

If you’ve been charged with committing a drink driving offence in New South Wales, we’ll advise you of your options and represent your case in court. Contact us today to make an appointment with Legalbit today.

Novice-range drink driving

This offence applies to holders of a learners or provisional licence or a person who doesn’t hold a licence at all. This may be because it’s been suspended or cancelled, disqualified, the person has been refused a driver’s licence in the past or has never obtained a licence.

If you have committed a drink driving offence in the special range category, the court must disqualify you from driving for a period of time. The automatic disqualification period is 6 months however the court may reduce this to a minimum of 3 months. The maximum fine for this offence is $1,100.00. If this is your second major traffic offence in the last 5 years, you will be automatically disqualified for 12 months but the court can reduce this to a minimum of 6 months. The maximum fine for this offence is $2,200.00. In both cases, the court may choose to deal with the drink driving offence under Section 10, i.e. without conviction, disqualification or fine.

Low-range drink driving

The penalty for a low range drink driving offence is the same as special range drink driving. The court must disqualify you from driving for a period. You will be automatically disqualified for 6 months, but this may be reduced to a minimum of 3 months. The maximum fine for this offence is $1,100.00. If this is your second major traffic offence in the last 5 years, you will be automatically disqualified for 12 months but the court can reduce this to a minimum of 6 months. The maximum fine for this offence is $2,200.00. In both cases, the court may choose to deal with the drink driving offence under Section 10 i.e. without conviction, disqualification or fine.

Mid-range drink-driving

If you have been convicted of a mid-range drink driving offence the court must disqualify you for a period. The automatic disqualification time for the first major traffic offence is 12 months although the court can reduce it to the minimum of 6 months. The maximum prison sentence is 9 months and/or a maximum fine of $2,200.00.

If this is the second major traffic offence within 5 years, you will be automatically disqualified for 3 years. However, the court may reduce this time to a minimum of 12 months. The maximum prison sentence is up to 12 months and/or a maximum fine of $3,300.00.

In both cases, the court may choose to deal with the drink driving offence under ‘Section 10’, i.e. without conviction, disqualification or fine.

High-range drink driving

The maximum penalty for a first-time offender of a high range drink driving offence is imprisonment for 18 months, an automatic disqualification of 3 years, incurring a maximum fine of $3,300.00. If this is a second or subsequent major traffic offence the fine can be increased to $5,500.00 and you will be automatically suspended for 5 years. However, this suspension can be reduced to a minimum of 2 years.

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