Drink-driving penalties are based on the amount of alcohol detected in your blood at the time of your offence. Depending on your first offence, you may face fines or even a lengthy disqualification from driving. It is important to be aware of these penalties as they can have a serious impact on your life. However, you can reduce the risk of receiving a high fine by pleading guilty.
There are a number of offence types that can result in drink-driving penalties. First time offences, for example, are usually charged with a low range PCA. These fines are generally only $1,100, though there is a maximum of $2,200 for a second offence.
Repeated offence drink-driving is known as DUI. This type of charge is also punishable by prison terms. If a driver is arrested a second or more times for a DUI within a five-year period, the magistrate can impose a sentence of up to 18 months in jail. In addition to a heavy fine, the offender will also have to install an alcohol interlock device.
Refusal to take a breath test is another charge that can lead to a heavy fine or even a lifetime ban from driving. The penalty for refusal is the same as for a drunk driving offence. Those who refuse to do a blood test can also be penalized.
Other penalties for refusal include a mandatory minimum disqualification of 12 months for a first offence. Those who refuse a second or third time are faced with a disqualification of up to six years. Furthermore, refusing to provide a specimen of your breath can lead to a fine of up to $500.
Aside from the obvious impact of a conviction on your driving licence, it can also have a significant effect on your personal life. You could lose your job, and your driving licence can be suspended for up to 12 months. Fortunately, there is a scheme for drivers who have been caught drink-driving that allows them to have their licence reinstated after completing a period of rehabilitation.
Whether you’ve been accused of a DUI or any other road traffic offence, you can turn to criminal defence lawyers to help you find out your options. Those with experience in this field are able to guide you through the process and may be able to reduce your charges to a less severe penalty. Getting legal advice from experienced traffic solicitors is free of charge.
For further information, you can check the Department of Transport’s website. They offer a detailed explanation of the laws regarding drink-driving penalties. Taking a look at this page will give you a better idea of what to expect in court.
The Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2018 changed the way that penalties are enforced for drink-driving. Previously, the minimum amount of time an offender had to be disqualified was just twelve months. Now, it’s six years. Also, new laws have removed the option for the guilty party to save their licence.