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Section 112 Road Transport Act 2013
Use or Attempted Use of a Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol or Any Other Drug

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is an offence under Section 112 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW).

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You drove a motor vehicle, or occupied the driver seat and tried to put the vehicle in motion, or had a full licence and occupied the seat next to a learner driver, and
  2. You were affected by alcohol or any other drug at the time

A ‘drug’ is defined as:

  1. A prohibited drug under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985
  2. A substance reasonably likely to deprive or impair an ordinary person’s normal mental or physical faculties, or
  3. Any other substance prescribed by statutory rules

The offence is charged as an alternative to driving with a low, mid or high range p.c.a. The offence is normally charged where police are not able or allowed to breath test you such as where they arrive more than 2 hours after you drove or where you are at your own premises.

A person cannot be charged with both driving with a p.c.a. and d.u.i. if it is your first major traffic offence in the past 5 years.

The maximum penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol is:

  1. 18 months in prison
  2. A 9 month licence disqualification which can be reduced to 6 months, followed by
  3. A 24 month period during which you must have an interlock device installed to your vehicle, and
  4. A fine of $3,300

Alternatively, the court can ‘exempt’ you from the interlock requirement and impose up to:

  1. 18 months in prison
  2. A 3 year licence disqualification which can be reduced to 12 months, and
  3. A fine of $3,300

The maximum penalty for driving under the influence of a drug (first offence) is:

  1. 18 months in prison
  2. A 3 year licence disqualification which can be reduced to 12 months, and
  3. A fine of $3,300

If it is your second or more major traffic offence in the past 5 years the maximum penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol is:

  1. 2 years in prison
  2. A 12 month licence disqualification which can be reduced to 9 months, Followed by
  3. A 48 month period during which you must have an interlock device installed to your vehicle, and
  4. A fine of $5,500

Alternatively, the court can ‘exempt’ you from the interlock requirement and impose up to:

  1. 2 years in prison
  2. A 5 year licence disqualification which can be reduced to 2 years, and
  3. A fine of $5,500

The maximum penalty for driving under the influence of drugs (second or more offence) is:

  1. 2 years in prison
  2. A 5 year licence disqualification which can be reduced to 2 years, and
  3. A fine of $5,500

However, there will be no criminal record, licence disqualification or fine where the court deals with you by way of:

  1. A Section 10(1)(a) dismissal, or
  2. A Conditional release order without a conviction

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Honest and reasonable mistake of fact
  2. Duress, and
  3. Necessity

If you require the services of a traffic defence team that specialises in representing clients for cases under the Road Transport Act, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 to arrange a consultation.

Our team is vastly experienced in advising and representing clients in traffic law cases, and will fight to ensure you achieve the optimal result in the circumstances.

We offer fixed fees for all traffic cases, and a free first conference for those who are going to court.

The Legislation

Section 112 of the Road Transport Act 2013 is Use or Attempted Use of a Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol or Any Other Drug and reads as follows:

Use or attempted use of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any other drug

(cf STM Act, s 12)

(1) A person must not, while under the influence of alcohol or any other drug:

(a) drive a vehicle, or

(b) occupy the driving seat of a vehicle and attempt to put the vehicle in motion, or

(c) if the person is the holder of an applicable driver licence (other than an applicable provisional licence or applicable learner licence)–occupy the seat in or on a motor vehicle next to a learner driver who is driving the vehicle.

The penalties

Maximum penalty:

(a) in the case of a first offence–30 penalty units or imprisonment for 18 months, or both, or

(b) in the case of a second or subsequent offence–50 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years, or both.

(2) If a person is charged with an offence against subsection (1):

(a) the court attendance notice may allege the person was under the influence of more than one drug and is not liable to be dismissed on the ground of uncertainty or duplicity if each of those drugs is described in the court attendance notice, and

(b) the offence is proved if the court is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was under the influence of:

(i) a drug described in the court attendance notice, or

(ii) a combination of drugs any one or more of which was or were described in the court attendance notice.

Note : Division 1 of Part 7.4 provides for the disqualification of persons from holding driver licences for certain offences (including offences against this section).

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Choosing the right legal team to defend your reputation and interests can be a difficult process.

However, it is always important to look at a firm’s experience and results when making this decision.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, we have extensive experience defending and winning some of the most complex traffic matters – so you can rest assured that you are in safe hands.

Our traffic law specialists will take the time in every case to carefully scrutinise all the evidence in order to identify problems with the prosecution case at an early stage in the proceedings.

Where issues are found, our lawyers will write to the prosecution asking to have the charges dropped on this basis – often sparing our clients the considerable time and expense associated with defended hearings.

However, should your matter proceed to court, our senior lawyers will represent you and present a strong defence case to maximise your chances of being found ‘not guilty.’

Our senior lawyers are highly skilled advocates who have been recognised for their expert knowledge of the traffic law, as well as their ability to obtain excellent results in difficult cases.

We can assist you in avoiding the harsh penalties imposed by the law if you simply wish to plead guilty – in these cases, our experienced advocates can prepare and present compelling sentencing submissions which focus on any positive factors of your case.

For the best defence in your case, get the experts on your side today. Call us now on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference with our traffic law specialists.

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