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What you need to know about Drink Driving or DUI

WHAT IS DRINK DRIVING?

The law limits the amount of alcohol a driver is allowed to have within their blood while driving a motor vehicle. The limit of alcohol allowed while driving a motor vehicle is dependent upon the type of licence held by the driver. Such limits are prescribed on the basis of still allowing a driver to operate a motor vehicle safely.

If you have been found to have a blood alcohol reading exceeding the limit placed of your particular licence you will be charged with the crime of Driving under the influence (DUI). This is a crime of driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol to a level deemed unsafe the licence type held.

READING

A driver’s level of intoxication is measured by way of blood alcohol content (BAC). Where a drivers BAC exceeds the legislated threshold, a person is found to have committed a criminal offence with no requirement of any impairment to be proved.

OFFENCES

A driver that affected by alcohol can be charged under either of two driving offences;

  • a PCA charge or,
  • a DUI charge.

A PCA offence occurs when the specific measurement of your blood alcohol via a breath test, and subsequent breath analysis, or even blood tests determines it to exceed the prescribed tolerance level threshold of the license held.

Unlike a PCA offence, a DUI charge can be issued without any need for a breath test where a clear suspicion exists that a driver is affected by alcohol. Such suspicion will usually be based upon a driver’s speech, sturdiness, or their breath smelling of alcohol. Suspicion can also occur where the circumstances of a driving incident such as car accident hint of alcohol being involved.

PENALTIES

Drink driving is considered a serious offence so heavy penalties do apply. Depending upon the level of intoxication, penalties can involve heavy fines, licence suspensions and/or jail sentences.

FIRST OFFENCE WITHIN 5 YEARS​​​​​
Offence Maximum fine Maximum gaol Automatic disqualification Minimum disqualification
Novice range PCA $1,100 N/A 3 months 6 months
Special range PCA $1,100 N/A 3 months 6 months
Low range PCA $1,100 N/A 3 months 6 months
Mid-range PCA $2,200 9 months 6 months 12 months
High range PCA* $3,300 18 months 6 months 9 months

 

SECOND ALCOHOL-RELATED MAJOR OFFENCE WITHIN 5 YEARS
Offence Maximum fine Maximum gaol Automatic disqualification Minimum disqualification
Novice range PCA $2,200 N/A 1 month 3 months
Special range PCA $2,200 N/A 1 month 3 months
Low range PCA $2,200 N/A 1 month 3 months
Mid range PCA $3,300 12 months 6 months 9 months
High range PCA* $5,500 18 months 9 months 12 months

* If you refuse or fail to provide a breath analysis, you will be considered to be high range PCA and the same disqualification will apply.

 

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