Seek Advice if Charged with Drink Driving

Posted 04-11-2021
Written by admin 101
Category Criminal Law

Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence, with significant penalties for majortransgressions. RMB Criminal Law Division explains the importance of seeking good legal advice:

Lawmakers have made Drink Driving a significant focus, with all forms of drink driving given significant penalties.

Offenders are charged with driving with a prescribed concentration of alcohol in their blood, known as a PCA which is measured by grams of alcohol per 100ml of blood. There is a zero tolerance policy for Learner and Provisional licence holders.

Drink driving charges are very serious and elevate quickly the higher your reading or if you are a multiple offender.

If you are caught drink driving police can, and often do, suspend your licence immediately. This is the case even for a low range offence with no history of drink driving. On the spot fines can now be issued for a first offence if the PCA reading is below 0.079 grams of alcohol per 100ml of blood, and if this is the case you will not go to court.

The offence you are charged with depends on your PCA reading and if you have history of drink driving.  The ranges of offences are:

  1. Novice range (0.00 to 0.019 for a Learner, P1 or P2 driver);
  2. Special range (0.02 to 0.049 for “special” categories of driver such as a bus or taxi drivers);
  3. Low range (0.05 to 0.079);
  4. Mid-range (0.08 to 0.149); or
  5. High range (0.15 and above)

Each range has a different penalties available and licence suspension periods. Even in the lowest range, the fine exceeds $500 and will likely come with a few months off the road. This goes up if you have a history of similar offences, and will require you to go to court.

Losing your licence could seriously affect your work or other responsibilities, while high range charges could also result in jail terms.  Because it is very challenging to retain your licence when faced with any drink driving charge, it is important that you seek expert legal advice in drink driving matters.

RMB Lawyers understand that people make mistakes. We have the skills and expertise to know how to put you in the best position to get the best possible result – whether that is looking to avoid jail time or trying to hold onto your licence.

If you have recently been charged with DUI, your first step should be to contact our office to arrange a free consultation. You can contact us by by phone or our 'Ask a Question' tool on our website.