Drink Driving and the Law
In May 2019, the NSW Government amended laws in relation to drink driving offences. These amendments include immediate licence suspension for any drink driving offence. The amendments are part of the Road Safety Plan.
The relevant offences are:
- High range PCA (0.15 or above)
- Mid-range PCA (0.08 to less than 0.15)
- Low range PCA (0.05 to less than 0.08)
- Novice range PCA (more than zero for learner, P1 or P2 drivers)
- Special range PCA (over 0.02 for special category drivers)
Each of the above offences result in an immediate licence suspension.
Low range PCA, novice range PCA and special range PCA carry a minimum disqualification term of 3 months and a maximum term of 6 months. A penalty notice fine in the sum of $572 would ordinarily be issued but the Court has a discretion to impose a fine of up to $2200.
Persons who are convicted of high range PCA and mid-range PCA are ordinarily subject to an alcohol interlock program. Interlocks are electronic breath testing devices linked to the ignition of a vehicle. Drivers must provide a breath sample that the interlock analyses for the presence of alcohol before the vehicle will start. Randomly timed breath tests must also be passed during a journey.
The offence of mid-range PCA requires an interlock order for 12 months. The minimum period of disqualification is 3 months and the maximum is 6 months (in addition to interlock). A maximum fine of $2200 may be imposed together with a maximum prison term of 9 months.
The penalties referred to above are substantially increased in the event of a second or subsequent offence which is a similar offence committed within 5 years.
Any drink driving charge is a serious matter with the potential to adversely affect many aspects of a person’s life. However, the Court has some discretion in the imposition of penalties.
Persons charged with a drink driving offence are encouraged to seek legal advice so they can fully understand the options that are available to them.
Bale Boshev Lawyers have Solicitors who can provide sound advice and appear for you in Court.