Being caught for drink driving can be a very sobering experience! You may find that your licence is taken from you on the spot by the Police and that you face the very real prospect of trying to manage everyday tasks without being able to drive.
Some people face losing their job if their licence is cancelled. Others need their licence to get to work, help loved ones with medical needs or to drive young children to school or other activities. Even the grocery shopping seems impossible without a licence.
Drink driving is a criminal offence
You may not be aware that the Courts view drink driving as a serious criminal offence. The Courts often deal with these offences severely, and the penalties imposed can have a significant impact on people’s lives.
If you are caught driving over the limit or DUI, you will have to go to Court. If convicted by the Court of a drink driving charge. you will lose your licence, will have to pay a fine, have a criminal record and you may face imprisonment.
Can you get off a drink driving charge?
It is possible to avoid a conviction for a DUI charge. If you can convince the Court to dismiss the charge under a Section 10 order, you will avoid a conviction and a criminal record and you will be allowed to keep your licence.
Whether this is possible depends on a lot of factors. The breathalyser reading of your blood alcohol level, your prior history of similar offences and whether there were any other aggravating factors like having an accident or putting the safety of the public at risk are all important factors.
The Magistrate will consider a wide range of other factors when deciding on the appropriate penalty, including your age, driving and criminal history, need for a licence and your personal circumstances at the time of the offence.
Section 10’s are not given out readily by the Court, so it is essential that your drink driving defence is rock solid to have any hope of getting a Section 10 dismissal.
Do you need a lawyer for DUI?
It is your decision whether to engage a lawyer when going to Court. However, facing Court unrepresented on a criminal charge can be a daunting experience, as all Magistrates consider drink driving charges as serious criminal offences.
Instructing a lawyer to act on your behalf will enable you to be aware of all your options and will ensure you get the best outcome possible for your particular case.
An experienced drink driving lawyer may be able to persuade the Courts not to record a conviction against you. If this is possible, you will not be penalised; you will avoid a criminal record, and you get to keep your driver's licence.
Drink driving defences
If you wish to plead “not guilty” there are some defences for Drink Driving which include:
- Challenging the reading
- Honest and reasonable mistake
- The Two-Hour Rule
- The Home Safe rule
To find out if any of these defences apply to your case call us on 1300 529 444 and speak with our experienced DUI Lawyers to get your case assessed.
Special Range drink driving
Any person who is subject to a zero alcohol limit or special alcohol limit while driving may be charged with a Special Range PCA charge. This offence usually applies to someone who has a special licence such as a learner's licence, P1 licence or P2 licence. It also applies to bus drivers and taxi drivers who will usually have a 0.02 limit while operating a bus or taxi service.
Novice Range drink driving
Any person who is subject to a zero alcohol limit while driving may be charged with a Novice Range PCA charge. This offence usually applies to someone who has a special licence such as a learner's licence, P1 licence or P2 licence. The charge also applies to someone driving without a valid licence, including suspended and disqualified drivers.
What are the penalties for Special or Novice Range PCA?
In some cases, it may be possible to secure a Section 10 no conviction for a Special or Novice Range PCA. However, if convicted of a Special or Novice Range DUI offence in an NSW Court, you will lose your driver's licence, receive a fine of up to $2,200 and obtain a criminal record. For repeat offences, you may be required to have an Interlock Device, which means you will have to prove that you are sober by breathing into a device fitted in your car, at your own costly expense.
The penalties for Special or Novice Range Drink Driving or PCA Offences are as follows:
Low Range Drink Driving
The offence of Low Range Drink Driving is committed by a driver who drives a motor vehicle on a public road with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.05 and below 0.079.
What are the penalties for Low Range PCA?
It may be possible to secure a Section 10 no conviction for a Low Range PCA in certain cases. However, if convicted of a Low Range DUI offence in an NSW Court, you will lose your driver licence, receive a fine of up to $2,200 and get a criminal record. For repeat offences, you may be required to go on the Interlock Program.
The penalties for Low Range Drink Driving or PCA Offences are as follows:
Mid Range Drink Driving
The offence of Mid Range drink driving is committed by a person who drives a motor vehicle on a public road with a blood alcohol concentration from 0.08 to 0.149.
What are the penalties for Mid Range PCA?
In exceptional cases, it may be possible to secure a Section 10 no conviction for Mid Range PCA’s. However, if convicted of a Mid Range PCA offence in an NSW Court, you will lose your driver licence, receive a fine of up to $3,300 face a term of imprisonment and obtain a criminal record. For repeat offences, you may be required to go on the Interlock Program.
The penalties for mid range drink driving or PCA Offences are as follows:
High Range Drink Driving
The offence of High Range drink driving is committed by a person who drives a motor vehicle on a public road with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.150.
What are the penalties for High Range PCA?
It is very rare to secure a Section 10 no conviction for a High Range PCA. If convicted of a High Range PCA offence in an NSW Court, you will lose your driver licence, receive a fine of up to $5,500, face a term of imprisonment and obtain a criminal record. You will also be required to go on the Interlock Program.
The penalties for high range drink driving or PCA Offences are as follows:
We are here to help
Fourtree Lawyers have extensive experience defending clients on the Central Coast facing drink driving charges in Court. From first-time Novice PCA’s to repeat offenders with serious multiple aggravating factors.
Your drink driving lawyer will explain and guide you through the entire Court process and work with you to minimise the legal ramifications of your offence.
If a section 10 is not appropriate, our drink driving experts can help reduce suspension periods, minimising any fines you may face and helping you avoid or minimise any jail term.
Contact our Central Coast DUI Lawyers on 1300 529 444 as soon as possible. The earlier we can start building a strong case, the higher your chance of getting the best outcome.
More reading -
- Binding Financial Agreements
- Child Custody
- Consent Orders
- Divorce Applications
- Parenting Orders
- Property Settlements
- Spousal Maintenance
- Violence Intervention Orders
I’d like to thank Kevin and Jane for meeting me on the weekend and saving me a trip to the central coast (without a licence). I’d also like to thank Paul Popescu for doing a fantastic job representing me on a serious driving charge, he gave me clear instructions on what I needed to do and he was spot on, I received the best possible sentence. I would highly recommend Fourtree Lawyers, they travel all over NSW.
We found Fourtree Lawyers on Google after hours. I called on a Sunday and got some good advice. So went in to meet Kevin on the Monday. The outcome was a section 10(1)(b). We were so pleased and relieved. Thank so much to Kevin and Jane!! Would definitely recommend Fourtree Lawyers! Worth every cent! – JM Terrigal
I was recommend to Fourtree Lawyers from a friend whom also experienced a serious driving infringement. My situation was slightly more serious, being charged with drive while suspended, shared with a reasonably extensive driving record, meant my chances of driving home were minimal. Kevin’s realistic and knowledgeable approach not only prepared & educated me upon all possible verdicts, but also supported me with all possible optimistic outcomes. Kevin’s extensive knowledge of the legal system, combined with the understanding of the Judges expectations, and vast life experience resulted with an outstanding result,...
I am very appreciative of the exceptional legal representation that Fourtree Lawyers provided us. Their help, support, and hard work given, gave us a wonderful outcome. If anyone was in a situation requiring legal help, Fourtree Lawyers would be my one and only recommendation, as I know from experience they will not give up till they achieve the very best results for you. I can not thank the team Fourtree Lawyers enough. Kerry