What is the Penalty for High Range Drink Driving?

by Ugur Nedim

High Range Drink Driving is a serious criminal offence and should be handled by Criminal Lawyers who are vastly experienced in Drink Driving cases.

The penalties for ‘high range drink driving‘ (0.150 and above) depend on whether you’ve been convicted of a ‘major traffic offence’ within the previous five years.

If it’s your first ‘major traffic offence’ within the previous 5 years, the maximum prison sentence is 18 months.

The ‘automatic’ (ie normal) period of disqualification’ is 2 years and the maximum fine is $3,300.00.

However, the Magistrate can reduce the disqualification period to as low as 12 months if there are good reasons to do so; eg if you have a relatively good driving record and a strong need for a licence.

In very rare cases, the Magistrate can also choose not to convict you at all if there are very good reasons to do so, in which case you will not get a criminal record, disqualification or fine. This is called a ‘section 10 dismissal or conditional release order‘.

Our principal Mr U. Nedim has on several occasions obtained non conviction orders in High Range Drink Driving cases.

If it’s your second or more conviction for a ‘major traffic offence’ within the past 5 years, the maximum prison sentence is 2 years.

The ‘automatic’ period of disqualification increases to 5 years and the maximum fine rises to $5,500.00.

The disqualification period can be reduced to a minimum of 2 years.

If it’s your third or more ‘major traffic offence’ within 5 years, the Roads and Maritime Services (formerly the RTA) will declare you a ‘habitual traffic offender’ and impose an additional 5 years disqualification upon you after the court case is over.

You will be declared a ‘habitual offender’ even if one or more of your previous matters were dealt with under a non conviction order.

For more information on ‘drink driving offences’, see our main ‘drink driving’ page: www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/traffic/offences/drink-driving/

For information on ‘habitual offender declarations’, go to: www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/traffic/resources/habitual-offender-declarations/

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Ugur Nedim

Ugur Nedim is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist with 24 years of experience as a Criminal Defence Lawyer. He is the Principal of Sydney Criminal Lawyers®.

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