Have you been charged with mid-range drink driving?
Although a mid-range drink driving conviction is not as serious as a high range drink driving conviction, there are still harsh penalties associated with being found guilty of this offence, which is also known as mid-range PCA.
What is mid-range drink driving?
Mid-range drink driving is when you are caught driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.08 – 0.149.
It is more serious than low-range drink driving, and less serious than high-range drink driving, and this is reflected in the penalty you will receive if convicted.
A report by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research shows that mid-range drink driving is the most common of all the drink driving offences, with 45.3% of drink driving convictions being for mid-range PCA.
A mid-range drink driving charge should be taken seriously, and it is a good idea to obtain legal advice to help ensure the best possible outcome.
What are the consequences?
The penalties can include fines, and in some cases, a prison sentence.
Your exact penalty will depend on whether it is your first offence or if you have previous convictions for drink driving, or other traffic offences.
Mid-range PCA comes with an automatic disqualification period of 12 months, which means that unless the magistrate states otherwise, you will be disqualified from driving for this amount of time.
This time period can be reduced to six months at the magistrate’s discretion.
The magistrate can also use their discretion to give you a ‘section 10’ which means no conviction or disqualification.
Not being able to drive can impact your life in a number of ways.
Many people rely on driving to get to work, so being disqualified may make it more difficult for you to continue your employment.
If you have family obligations, such as relatives who need to go to medical appointments, or children who need to be driven to school or extra-curricular activities, they may be disadvantaged as a result of your conviction.
Mid-range drink driving also comes with a lifelong criminal conviction, which can affect your ability to work in certain professions, or obtain a visa for travel to some countries.
What can I do to lessen the impact of a mid-range drink driving conviction?
If you have been charged with mid-range drink driving, there are a few ways to help ensure the outcome is as positive as possible.
Engaging the services of an experienced drink driving lawyer should be your first step. A good lawyer can advise you of your best defence against a mid-range drink driving charge, and in some cases can even help you avoid a conviction or disqualification altogether under section 10.
If there is a compelling reason why you shouldn’t be disqualified from driving make sure you let the magistrate know.
If it is your first offence, they may be inclined to be more lenient if you can demonstrate that you or your family would suffer genuine hardship from being without a driving licence for any period of time.
A Section 10 order means that there is a finding of guilt but no criminal conviction is recorded.
This enables you to avoid being penalised and keep your licence.
Speak to your drink driving lawyer to find out more about how you can best defend yourself against a mid-range drink driving conviction and avoid any unnecessary impact on your life.