What is High Range Drink Driving
High Range Drink Driving is where you drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.150.
If the court convicts a person of ‘high range drink driving’, it must disqualify him or her from driving for a period of time.
High Range PCA is a serious offence especially if there has been a crash.
In 2004, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal handed-down a ‘guideline judgement’ on High Range PCA (see below) which basically told the lower courts not to treat offenders leniently.
Since that time, the sentences imposed for persons convicted of ‘high range drink driving’ have increased significantly.
It is therefore important to treat ‘high range drink driving’ cases very seriously.
The ‘automatic period of disqualification’ is 3 years if you have not been convicted of another ‘major traffic offence’ within the previous 5 years.
The Magistrate can reduce that disqualification period to a ‘minimum’ of 12 months.
There is a maximum prison sentence of 18 months and/or fine of up to $3,300.00.
2nd or Subsequent Offence
If it is your 2nd or more ‘major traffic offence’ within 5 years, the ‘automatic period of disqualification’ is 5 years.
The Magistrate can reduce that disqualification period to a ‘minimum’ of 2 years.
There is a maximum prison sentence of 2 years and/or fine of up to $5,500.00.
Even in cases of ‘high range drink driving’, Magistrate can choose to deal with the matter under ‘section 10’ ie without conviction, disqualification or fine.
Sydney Criminal Lawyers has, on many occasions, obtained ‘section 10’s’ for client’s charged with ‘high range drink driving’.
The following are official sentencing statistics for High Range Drink Driving NSW.
They are published by the Judicial Commission of NSW and current as at October 2011.
|Number of Cases||15,447|
|Section 10 Dismissal||0%|
|Section 10 Bond||2%|
|Section 10A (+ disqualification)||0%|
|Fine (+ disqualification)||41%|
|Section 9 bond ( +disqualification)||29%|
|Community Service Order (+ disqualification)||11%|
|Suspended Sentence (+ disqualification)||2%|
|Periodic Detention (no longer applicable)||2%|
|Home Detention (+ disqualification)||1%|
|Prison (+ disqualification)||5%|