As of Friday 18 December, police have invested extra resources into targeting drink driving, speeding and unlicensed driving in the lead up to Christmas.
Police reported that on day one of the blitz, called ‘Operation Arrive Alive’, 48,916 breath tests were administered, 21 of which resulted in drink driving charges. Police issued 1273 speeding tickets and 84 major crashes were reported, with one fatality.
On day two, police reportedly administered 58,546 breath tests and charged 55 people with drink driving. 1,410 speeding tickets were issued and 83 major car crashes were recorded.
Police say that they will continue to focus on driving offences throughout the Christmas and New Year period.
Double demerit points
Between 24 December 2015 and 3 January 2016, and between 22 January to 26 January inclusive, double demerit points will apply to certain traffic offences, making it easier to lose your licence.
Double demerits will apply to:
- Using your mobile phone while driving
- Not wearing seatbelts
- Not wearing helmets
Quick guide to demerit points
A fully licenced driver will be able to accrue 13 demerit points before losing their licence.
For professional drivers this increases to 14, while it is just 4 points for learners or those on P1 licences. Those with P2 licences can accrue 7 points before losing their licence.
If you accrue between 13 and 15 points (for unrestricted drivers) you will be suspended from driving for 3 months.
If you accrue 16-19 points, you will face four months off the road, while for 20 or more points you will be off the road for five months. Learner and provisional drivers will be off the road for 3 months if they exceed their demerit points.
If you wish to contest the fine and demerit points, you can either request a review through the State Debt Recovery website, or take the matter to court.
If you choose the court option, you can either fight the charges by pleading not guilty, or plead guilty and request a more lenient penalty from the Magistrate.
Quick Guide to drink driving
If you blow above the allowed concentration of alcohol, you will be issued with a Court Attendance Notice and sent to court.
While drink driving is not the most serious offence in the criminal calendar, the majority of people found guilty of drink driving in NSW receive a criminal record – along with a fine and licence disqualification.
The penalties for drink driving vary depending on the charge as well as whether or not it is your first major traffic offence in the last five years.
Because of the serious penalties, you should always seek legal advice if you are facing drink driving charges.
Driving without a licence
Driving without a licence is a very common offence, but it can carry some very harsh penalties, especially for those who are caught doing it more than once.
Unlicensed drivers can face fines, a criminal record and even prison time, for second or subsequent offences. In fact, 25% of people found guilty of driving while disqualified for a second or subsequent offence were sentenced to prison.
If you do find yourself in a sticky situation and need to go to court, it is best to seek the advice of an expert. A criminal lawyer who is experienced in driving cases will be able to advise you about your options and the right road ahead.
Sydney Criminal Lawyers® wishes you a Safe and Merry Christmas!