Driving under the Influence (DUI) is a charge that is often used when an alleged offender is accused of driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or an illegal or prescription drug. DUI charges vary from standard drink driving or PCA charges in that they rely less on evidence of the level of blood alcohol concentration in your blood, and more on your behaviour while driving, and how the manner of your driving may have been affected by intoxicating substances.
Why am I facing a DUI charge?
DUI charges are often made when there isn’t enough evidence available for a PCA charge, either because your blood alcohol content was too low, or too much time had passed since the reading for it to be admissible in court. DUI charges vary from PCA charges in that the prosecution actually has to prove that your driving ability was impaired by the concentration of alcohol or drugs in your blood, and not just show that you had a blood alcohol concentration of a certain level.
If you have been charged with DUI, the case of the prosecution will largely rely on the statements of police officers and any other witnesses. DUI charges can also be applied to driving under the influence of drugs, both illegal and prescription, such as valium.
What are the penalties for DUI?
If you are found guilty of driving under the influence, the penalty you will receive depends on a number of different factors. Driving under the influence of alcohol has a maximum fine of $2,200 for a first offence, and $3,300 for a second or subsequent offence. It also comes with a minimum disqualification period of six months and an automatic disqualification period of 12 months. For the second or subsequent offence, the disqualification period increases to 12 months minimum and three years automatic.
For a DUI involving prohibited drugs, the penalties vary depending on the type of drug. For offences involving cannabis, speed, cocaine, morphine or ecstasy, the maximum fine is $1,100 for a first offence, and $2,200 for a second or subsequent offence. There is also a maximum disqualification period of six months for a first offence, and an unlimited period for a second or subsequent offence.
What can DUI lawyers in Sydney do to help?
It is a good idea to seek legal advice if you are facing criminal or traffic charges. The penalties for a conviction of DUI can be severe, and you can end up with a lifelong criminal conviction that could have an impact on you in the future. Being disqualified from driving can also cause ongoing problems with employment, and meeting family obligations, and can lead to significant financial difficulties.
DUI Lawyers in Sydney are familiar with the legal system in NSW, and can help you prepare the best defence against your DUI charge. As an added benefit, local DUI lawyers have knowledge of local magistrates, and this can work in your favour.
An experienced DUI lawyer can help you decide whether or not to plead guilty to DUI charges, and if you decide not to plead guilty they can help you defend yourself in court and get the outcome you are hoping for.