Drink Driving Offences
- 0.02; and
- Special range PCA applies to special category drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.02 and 0.049 g/100 mL
- Low range PCA applies to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.05 and 0.079 g/100 mL
- Mid range PCA applies to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.08 and 0.149 g/100 mL
- High range PCA applies to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.15 g/100 mL.
- All learner drivers;
- All Provisional 1 drivers; and
- All Provisional 2 drivers.
- Drivers of vehicles of ‘gross vehicle mass’ greater than 13.9 tonnes;
- Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods; and
- Drivers of public vehicles such as taxi or bus drivers.
- All other licences not subject to a 0.00 or 0.02 limit.
- Alcohol concentration of the drink may vary from 2.5 per cent (light beer), 5 per cent (full strength beer) to over 40 per cent (vodka, whisky);
- Beer may be served in schooners, middies or pints. Wine glasses vary from 100 to 280 mls;
- In many situations, drinks are topped up making it difficult to know how many standard drinks are consumed;
- Many drinks come in non-standard sizes for example pre-mixed drinks in cans and bottles may contain more than one standard drink.
- Size and weight. A smaller person may have a higher BAC from the same amount of alcohol;
- Liver function. An unhealthy liver processes alcohol more slowly;
- Gender. A woman of the same height and weight as a man drinking the same amount may have higher BAC;
- Consumption of food. Lack of food in the stomach means faster absorption of alcohol into the blood stream. Eating after drinking will not reduce the BAC;
- General health condition and level of fitness can affect a person’s ability to process alcohol. A person’s BAC can be higher if they are not feeling well, or are tired or stressed;
- Consumption of other drugs affects a person’s ability to process alcohol.
Stop drivers at random to test for alcohol.
Arrest drivers who test over the legal limit.
If you test over the limit at the roadside you will be arrested, taken to a Police station for evidentiary breath analysis, charged by Police, finger printed, photographed and you will have to appear in court. Middle and high range offenders will generally have their licence suspended by Police at the Police station when they are charged.
Drink driving attracts serious penalties. A summary of penalties and disqualification periods for drink driving matters are noted below:
First offences and second or subsequent offences are distinguished. Offences are considered second or subsequent if the person was convicted of a major traffic offence (including any PCA offence) in the previous five years. Major offences include any offence under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), dangerous or negligent driving offences under the Act, PCA offences, driving under the influence of drugs, refusing to submit to testing for drugs or alcohol, or the aiding and abetting of the commission of any of the above crimes or offences.
Whilst in certain circumstances you can be can you be found guilty but have no conviction recorded drink driving is a serious offence and is treated seriously by the Courts. This has been reflected in a guideline judgement for high range drink driving matters where it was stated that in a case where an offender is sentenced for a second or subsequent high range drink driving offence:
A sentence of any less severity than imprisonment of some kind would generally be inappropriate; and
Where any number of aggravating factors are present to a significant degree or where the prior offence is a high range drink driving offence, a sentence of less severity than full-time imprisonment would generally be inappropriate.
If you have been charged with a drink driving offence you should obtain immediate legal advice from our experienced lawyers.
We can advise you on the strategies that will improve your chances of receiving a beneficial outcome (for example, the use of character references) and advise you on other matters which may increase the prospects of obtaining your license back sooner that you may otherwise be entitled (interlock driver licence).