In New South Wales and across Australian law, ‘drink driving’ – that is, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol – is treated very seriously. For this reason, it is vital that you obtain legal advice as soon as possible when dealing with a possible offence of this nature – whether this be having been charged with an offence, having had your licence suspended or having received a penalty notice.
Drink Driving Offences
Under section 9 of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 (NSW), it is an offence for individuals with a prescribed blood alcohol concentration (PCA) to drive, attempt to drive, or occupy the seat next to the holder of a learner licence who is driving a vehicle. Charges relating to drink driving are PCA or DUI (driving under the influence) offences.
As most people are aware, the law limits the amount of alcohol a driver is permitted to have in their system while driving. The penalties that drivers are liable for if they are ‘over the limit’ are subject to several factors. For instance, the penalties for drivers who hold Learner, Provisional or Full licences can differ as L and P Plate drivers may not have any alcohol in their system while driving.
The courts can impose different penalties depending on whether it is a person’s first offence or whether they have previously been convicted of a major traffic offence in the last five years. This will include any PCA offence, driving under the influence of drugs, any offence under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), dangerous or negligent driving offences under the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 (NSW), or refusing to submit to testing for drugs or alcohol.
In New South Wales law the courts have a wide array of penalties available to impose in relation to drink driving offences. Though imprisonment is an option available to the court, other penalties include community service, suspended sentencing for rehabilitation, and participation in an intervention program, or an order under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act that dismisses the charges completely. It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible when faced with a drink driving charge.
If you have any questions about drink driving related charges or have been charged with one of the above offences, give us a call on 02 8917 8700 or fill out the enquiry box and we will get back to you ASAP.