What is Mid Range Drink Driving?
Mid-Range drink driving or PCA is an offence committed when you are caught driving a vehicle on a public road and test positive to a breath test or a blood test with a prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA) reading between 0.080 and 0.149.
How serious is a Mid Range PCA?
In NSW, all drink driving cases are taken seriously by the court, because drink driving poses a serious risk of injury to members of the public.
If you are found guilty of Middle Range PCA, you will have a criminal conviction recorded against you.
The disqualification periods and fines that apply are harsh, and a criminal record can cause significant problems in your everyday life; it can affect your ability to work in certain jobs and to travel freely to some countries.
If you are a first-time offender, however, getting legal advice from an experienced traffic lawyer could ensure that you remain conviction free.
Will I lose my licence?
The major concern for most drivers charged with a Mid Range PCA offence is that they will lose their licence.
If you are facing your first offence for drink driving, you have a good traffic record and a strong need for a licence you have a reasonably good chance of avoiding a conviction and being dealt with under “section 10”.
Getting a “section 10” means that you will not be disqualified from driving, not be fined and you will be able to keep your licence.
Our experienced drink driving lawyers know how to present Middle Range drink driving matters in a way that gives you the best chance of keeping your licence.
What are the penalties for Mid Range PCA?
The maximum penalty for a Mid-Range drink driving offence, if it is your first major traffic offence within 5 years, is a fine of $2,200.00, a 9-month maximum term of imprisonment, an unlimited maximum disqualification period and an automatic disqualification period of 12 months. The minimum disqualification period a Magistrate can hand down is 6 months.
Penalties for two or more major traffic offences within 5 years
The maximum penalty for a Mid-Range drink driving offence, if it is your second or subsequent major offence within 5 years, is a fine of $3,300.00, a 12-month maximum term of imprisonment, an unlimited maximum disqualification period and an automatic disqualification period of 3 years. The minimum disqualification period a Magistrate can hand down is 12 months.
Where a second or subsequent offence of this nature occurs within 5 years, then a mandatory minimum period of 2 years using an interlock device will be imposed.
However, if the Magistrate can be persuaded to deal with the matter pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act, you will not be disqualified from driving and will avoid a criminal record.
Can I plead “not guilty” to a Mid Range PCA?
There are several possible defences to a Mid-Range drink driving offence
- Breath analysis not taken within two hours of driving. The law requires that the breath analysis occurs within 2 hours of driving.
- The law prohibits the police from demanding a breath test of a driver at their home. Home includes any part of the property.
- You were not the driver. As with any criminal offence, the police must prove it was, in fact, you who committed the offence.
We are here to help
Our solicitors specialise in Drink Driving matters and represent clients in Courts throughout the Central Coast and Hunter Regions. We have the experience and expertise to guide you through the court process from beginning to end to get you the best possible outcome.
If a section 10 is not possible, our drink driving experts can help reduce suspension periods, minimise any fines you may face and help you avoid or minimise a gaol term.
If you have been charged with a drink driving offence, don't take risks with your future. If you need advice from a drink driving lawyer, contact one of our criminal law specialists immediately on 1300 529 444 or fill in our contact form to arrange a free conference with a solicitor today. Contact us now! 24-hour legal advice 7 days a week.
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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,...
Our client is a 35-year-old male who lives with his fiancé on the Central Coast. He works in sales and a social media manager.
On the night of the offence our client was celebrating New Year's Eve with his fiancé. They consumed a bottle of wine at the Gosford Waterfront while watching fireworks. He was pulled over by Police for a random breath test. Our client tested positive and registered a reading of 0.097 when escorted back to the Police station.
He was charged with Drive with middle range PCA – first offence, which carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment of 9 months and/or a fine of $2,200.
Solicitor Denise McCarthy attended Gosford Local Court and made submissions in mitigation of the penalty. Particular emphasis was placed on our client’s immaculate driving and criminal record. Being the first offence ever before the Court, the Magistrate saw fit to record no conviction and sentence our client to a 24-month Conditional Release Order to be of good behaviour.
This was an incredible result as our client avoided being placed on the interlock program, a driving disqualification, a conviction, and/or any applicable fines. Our solicitor Denise’s preparation and persuasive advocacy won on the day.
CRO & Section 10(1)(a) – no conviction | Drive with Middle Range PCA – Drive Unregistered Vehicle | Manly Local Court |
Our client is a 40-year-old man who lives in Sydney and is employed as a nurse.
On the day of the offence, our client was under considerable personal and work stress, having had his car and valuables stolen a few weeks before.
Our client went to the local Bowling Club with a friend to have a beer to try and lighten his mood. He had borrowed his mother in law’s car to drive to the Club. On the way home, Police pulled our client over for a random breath test which returned a positive reading. It was also discovered that he was driving an unregistered vehicle. He was charged with both offences.
The maximum penalty for Mid Range PCA is 9 months imprisonment and/or a $2,200 fine with an automatic licence disqualification period of 12 months. The drive unregistered Vehicle offence carries a maximum fine of $2,200.
Solicitor Denise McCarthy attended Manly Local Court and made submissions in mitigation of the penalty. Ms. McCarthy focused on our client’s otherwise good character and stable position in the community.
The Magistrate sentenced our client to an 18-month Conditional Release Order for the drink drive charge and dismissed the unregistered vehicle charge pursuant to Section 10(1)(a).
Our client and his wife were both in tears when they heard the result.
Our client lives with his wife near Newcastle. He was retired from active service several years ago with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and spends a lot of time making a valuable contribution to the local community.
Our Solicitor appeared before Magistrate Crews in Belmont Local Court. He made submissions as to our client's contribution to the local community, his unblemished driving record and his good character.
Magistrate Crews dismissed the charges unconditionally pursuant to Section 10(1)(a).
Our client was stunned by this result. Not only were the charges dismissed, but he was able to keep his impeccable driving record intact.
Our client was a 54-year-old female. She was charged with drive motor vehicle with mid-range PCA, her first offence. She has no criminal record and only minor traffic infringements. The client was facing an automatic 12-month or a minimum of 6-month licence disqualification, a $2,200 fine and/or a 9-month term of imprisonment.
Our client lives with her husband and cares for her ailing father. She works on call as a Nurse and has a strong need for a driver's licence. Without a licence, our client would face the very real possibility of losing her job.
Our client was sentenced at Gosford Local Court before Magistrate Williams, where solicitor Kevin Vierboom argued for a Section 10 meaning that we were asking that she receive no penalty or licence disqualification.
Magistrate Williams took into account our client's personal circumstances, her good character, her contribution to the community and her genuine remorse. The Magistrate agreed that the matter should be dealt with under Section 10(1)(b) The Court did not record a conviction on her criminal record and placed our client on an 18-month good behaviour bond.
Our client was thankful to achieve a section 10. She was able to keep her job and continue to care for her elderly father.
Our client was a 47-year-old male. He was charged with drive motor vehicle with mid-range PCA, his first offence. He has no criminal record. The client was facing an automatic 12-month or a minimum of 6-month licence disqualification, a $2,200 fine and/or a 9-month term of imprisonment.
Our client lives on his own and shares custody of his two children. He is a qualified chef catering functions across NSW and has a strong need for a driver's licence. Without a licence, our client would face the very real possibility of losing his job.
Our client was sentenced at Hornsby Local Court before Magistrate Reiss, where solicitor Kevin Vierboom argued for a Section 10 meaning that we were asking that she receive no penalty or licence disqualification.
Magistrate Reiss took into account his children's need for transport on medical grounds, his previous good character, his need for a licence for work and his genuine remorse. The Magistrate agreed that the matter should be dealt with under Section 10(1)(b) The Court did not record a conviction on his criminal record and placed our client on a 12-month good behaviour bond.
Our client was thankful to achieve a section 10. He was able to keep his job and to drive his son to essential medical appointments.
Our client was a 47-year-old female. She was charged with drive motor vehicle with mid-range PCA. It was her first offence. She has no criminal record and very minor traffic infringements. She was facing an automatic 12-month and a minimum of 6-month licence disqualification, a $2,200 fine and/or a 9-month term of imprisonment.
Our client lives with her partner and young child. She works shift work at night and has a strong need for a driver's licence to get to and from work. Without a license, our client faced the real possibility of losing her job. She was sentenced at Wyong Local Court by Magistrate Feather and initially convicted to a 6-month licence disqualification, a $600 fine and a conviction on her criminal record.
Fourtree Lawyers appealed the conviction to the Gosford District Court and argued for a Section 10 meaning that we were asking that she receive no penalty or licence disqualification.
Justice Bozic took into account our client's financial situation, her need for a licence, her good character, her contribution to the community and her genuine remorse. The Judge agreed that the matter should be dealt with under Section 10(1)(b) This meant that our client was placed on a 2-year good behaviour bond, her licence was not disqualified, her fine was withdrawn and the Court did not record a conviction on her criminal record.
Our client was elated to achieve a section 10. She was able to keep her job and keep her driver’s licence.
Our client was a 55-year-old male. He was charged with a drive with a mid-range PCA . It was his first offence. He had held his licence for 38 years and had never come to the attention of the police previously. He was facing a minimum disqualification period of 6 months, an automatic disqualification period of 12 months. He was also facing a $2,200 fine and a term of imprisonment of 9 months.
Our client had missed his original court date and had been convicted by the court in his absence. He had been fined an amount of $800 and had been disqualified from driving for 12 months. He came to us to see if he could appeal the severity of his sentence.
Our client lives with his wife and two children, a daughter aged 16, and a son aged 12. He works full time and has a strong need for his licence. Without a licence our client was unable to get to work, assist his wife with her business, or transport his children to their sporting commitments. Our client was suffering considerable financial stress as a result.
Solicitor Kevin Vierboom lodged a Section 4 annulment application at Toronto Local Court to quash the original sentence and made submissions as to our client's active involvement in the local community, his good character and the reliance on a licence for him and his family.
Magistrate Railton agreed that the sentence was too severe in the circumstances, reducing the fine to $600 and halving the disqualification period to the minimum period of 6 months backdated to the original date of the offence.