A Drug Driving charge is very different to a Drink Driving charge. The prosecution is not required to prove the driver was affected by drugs; they just need to establish that drugs were present at the time the driver was tested.
The NSW Police have the power to pull you over and ask you to participate in a Random Drug Test. The driver is required to undertake a “lick test”. If this test comes back positive, a second drug test will be carried out, and if this shows a positive reading, the driver will be charged.
Which drugs can they test for?
The test administered by the Police for suspected Drug Driving can detect a range of drugs which include the following –
- Delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC or Cannabis)
- Speed or Ice
- MDMA (Ecstacy)
- Opiates (Heroin)
Random oral testing for drugs such as cannabis can detect the presence of this drug several hours after use. Urine tests can detect cannabis many days after use.
What should I do if I test positive?
If you have tested positive for drugs and been charged with Drug Driving, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances and the strength of the Police case a lawyer will be able to advise you whether to plead “guilty” and accept the charges or plead “not guilty.” and defend the charges
What are the penalties for Drug Driving?
From 20 May 2019, drivers who have a positive roadside drug test for a first offence confirmed by a laboratory will have their licences suspended immediately for a period of 3 months and a fine of $561 imposed.
If found guilty of Drug Driving, first offence, prior to 20 May 2019 the maximum penalties include a fine of up to $1,100 and automatic disqualification of your licence for up to 6 months. For a second or subsequent offence, the penalties are much higher.
Will I lose my licence?
The major concern for most drivers charged with a Drug Driving offence is that they will lose their licence. From 20 May 2019, if you are found to have an illicit drug present in your system while driving your licence will be immediately suspended for 3 months.
If you receive a penalty notice and a licence suspension notice you are not permitted to drive from the date the suspension takes effect.
If you have received a penalty notice and licence suspension notice for a Drug Driving offence, the current fact sheet from the Roads & Maritime Service indicates that you can elect to have your matter determined in Court and appeal your licence suspension.
For offences prior to 20 May 2019, it is possible to obtain a Conditional Release Order with no conviction or a Section 10 which means that you will not be disqualified from driving, not be fined and you will be able to keep your licence.
Our experienced Drug Driving Lawyers know how to present Drug Driving matters in a way that gives you the best chance of retaining your licence.
We are here to help
Fourtree Lawyers have extensive experience assisting clients on the Central Coast with Drug Driving matters.
Our lawyers can explain and prepare you for your Court appearance and work with you to minimise the legal ramifications of your offence.
Instructing a solicitor to act on your behalf will ensure you fully understand your position and your options and will assist you in getting the best possible results for your particular case.
If you can establish a credible defence against your Drug Driving charge, you may be granted a Conditional Release Order or a Section 10 with no conviction recorded, no loss of licence and no criminal record.
Contact our Central Coast Lawyers on 1300 529 444 as soon as possible. The earlier we can start building a strong case for you, the higher your chance of getting a good outcome.
If you wish to defend a Drug Driving charge, we will make submissions to the Court outlining any exceptional circumstances particular to your case.
Possible defences for Drug Driving include:
- Medicinal use – where the drugs were prescribed for a medical condition
- Honest and reasonable mistake – where you were not aware you had consumed drugs
- Duress – where the driver was threatened or coerced into driving
- Evidence improperly obtained
To see if any of these defences apply call our Drug Driving Lawyers on 1300 529 444 or a free case assessment.
Drug Driving is a criminal offence. If found guilty you will end up with a criminal record.
The penalty applied will depend on the Police Facts, the circumstances at the time and whether it is a first or repeat offence. The following penalties may be considered for Drug Driving -
- Section 10 no conviction recorded
- Fines from $1,100 to $3,300
- Good behaviour bond
- Community service order
- Suspended sentence
- Intensive correctional order
- Home detention
- Up to 12 month’s imprisonment
To find out which likely penalties apply call our Drug Driving Lawyers on 1300 529 444 or a free case assessment.
Very Helpful, Very Organized approach in defending you in court, Fourtree Lawyers are the company to chose if you want all the confusion and stress to be explained to you and for you in regard to facing court, these people are the Answer.
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,...
2-year CRO – no conviction | Drive vehicle with illicit drug present in blood | Gosford Local Court
Our client is a 25-year-old male works as a painter. He was at a local music festival for 3 days before getting stopped by Police for drug testing.
Our client instructed us that he had no intention of taking anything while at the festival however was pressured to take drugs by friends of his. Our client did not drink while at the festival the day before leaving, as he knew he would be driving home. On the drive home, he was stopped by Police and underwent a mobile drug test. After undergoing an oral fluid, he was found with cannabis present. On further analysis, methamphetamines were located as well.
Solicitor Erin Nulty attended Gosford Local Court to make submissions in mitigation of any penalty. Ms Nulty focused on our client’s clean criminal record and strong work ethic. While his traffic record had a few speeding offences and one count of negligent driving, the Magistrate saw fit to deal with our client by a 24-month Conditional Release Order, without conviction.
Our client was very pleased with the result as it meant he could retain his clean record.
Section 10(1)(b) | Drive motor vehicle with illicit drug present in blood | Severity Appeal | Gosford District Court
Our client, a 36-year-old male, was charged with Drive motor vehicle with illicit drug present in blood – first offence.
The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of $1,100.00 and an Automatic Licence Disqualification period for a term of 6 months. Our client suffered from significant physical health issues at the time of the offence. In the initial judgment, the local court Magistrate convicted our client and ordered $400.00 fine a licence disqualification period of three (3) months. The matter was appealed on the grounds of severity.
On Appeal, our Solicitor made extensive submissions with regard to the objective seriousness of the offence, our client’s serious health issues, his good character and the effect a conviction would have on his academic career.
Following consideration of these submissions, the Judge dismissed the charge pursuant to section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) on the condition that our client is to be on good behaviour for two years.
Our client was extremely grateful for this outcome.
Section 10(1)(b) - Drive Motor Vehicle with Drug Present in Blood (Methamphetamine) - Gosford Local Court - 12/1/2018
Our client was a 20-year-old female who lives at home with her parents and brother.
She was charged with driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of methamphetamine and speeding. Our client had plans to study child psychology at University a career path which would have been compromised with a criminal drug conviction.
Solicitor Denise McCarthy made extensive submissions to the Magistrate who ordered a 12 month period of good behaviour under section 10(1)(b) without proceeding to conviction.
Our client and her parents were extremely relieved that she was able to work toward her future plans without a criminal conviction on her record.
Section 10(1)(b) | Drive vehicle illicit drug present in blood etc. 1st-off | Gosford Local Court
Our client, an 18-year-old male who lives on the Central Coast with his family, was charged with drive vehicle illicit drug present in blood etc. 1st-off.
The maximum penalty for this offence is a conviction and a fine of $1,100.00 as well as a 6-month Automatic Licence Disqualification period. Our client is an apprentice. His trade involves driving long distances and carrying heavy work tools in a vehicle. It was crucial that our client retain his licence.
Solicitor Kevin Vierboom tendered written submissions in mitigation of the offence. The Magistrate adopted the written submissions and did not require any further representations. Our client’s charge was dismissed on the condition that he be of good behaviour for a period of 12 months.
Our client was extremely grateful to keep his licence and avoid a criminal conviction.
Section 10 (1)(a) + Section 10 (1)(b) | Drive Motor Vehicle with illicit drug present in blood – Ist off & Drive Whilst Disqualified – Ist off. | Gosford Local Court
Our client is 35 years of age. She is on a disability support pension. She had previously been convicted in her absence for; Drive motor vehicle with illicit drug present in blood where she had been disqualified from driving for 6 months and received a 750 fine. She was subsequently charged with Drive motor vehicle with illicit drug present in blood- 2nd off, Drive motor vehicle during disqualification period and Possess equipment to administer prohibited drug.
Maximum penalties for these charges range from an automatic disqualification of licence of 12 months to fines of $2000 or 12 months imprisonment.
Principal solicitor, Kevin Vierboom lodged an application to annul the first conviction and had all matters reheard together. Submissions as to our client’s previous good character and mental health issues in relation to a serious assault against her which was currently before the court, the Local Court Magistrate dealt with the matter as follows: The Ist drug drive matter was dismissed pursuant to Section 10(1)(a), for the 2nd drug drive matter, a minimum 3-month licence disqualification and a $500 fine. For the drive whilst disqualified offence she was given a Section 10 (1)(b) good behaviour bond for 2 years pursuant and for the Possess drug equipment charge a fine of $200.