Lawyers for High Range Drink Driving


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What is High Range Drink Driving?

High range drink driving is also known as driving with a high range prescribed concentration of alcohol, or ‘high range pca’.

It is where a person drives a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.150.

If the court convicts a driver of high range pca, it must impose a period of disqualification from driving.

In 2004, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal handed-down a ‘guideline judgement’ on high range pca which essentially told the lower courts to treat the offence seriously, and impose consistent sentences.

Since that time, the penalties imposed for high range pca have increased significantly.

It is therefore important to treat the allegation seriously, and to engage lawyers who are experienced in these types of cases

1st Offence

The maximum period of disqualification for high range drink driving is 9 months if you have not been convicted of another major traffic offence within the previous five years.

The Magistrate can reduce this to a minimum of 6 months off the road.

The Court must also order that the driver undertake a mandatory interlock program for a period of 2 years upon completion of the disqualification period.

This means you will need to have a device fitted to your vehicle which requires you to undertake a breath test before it can be started.

However, there are certain situations where drivers may be exempt from undertake the interlock program eg if they have no access to a vehicle, or if a medical condition prevents the driver from using the device.

In that case, the automatic period of disqualification is 3 years, which can be reduced to a minimum of 12 months.

There is a maximum prison sentence of 18 months and/or fine of up to $3,300.00.

However, the courts have made it clear that a person can avoid a criminal record, fine and disqualification altogether in certain exceptional cases even if they plead guilty to high range drink driving.

Sydney Criminal Lawyers has helped many clients to achieve this outcome over the years, and to beat high range drink driving charges after being advised by other law firms that this would be impossible.

2nd or Subsequent Offence

If it is a driver’s second or more ‘major traffic offence’ within 5 years, the maximum period of disqualification is 12 months, which can be reduced to a minimum of 9 months.

The Court must also order that the driver undertake a mandatory interlock program for a period of 2 years upon completion of the disqualification period.

This means you will need to have a device fitted to your vehicle which requires you to undertake a breath test before it can be started.

However, there are certain situations where drivers may be exempt from undertake the interlock program eg if they have no access to a vehicle, or if a medical condition prevents the driver from using the device.

In that case, the ‘automatic’ period of disqualification is 5 years, which can be reduced to a minimum of 2 years.

There is a maximum prison sentence of 2 years and/or fine of up to $5,500.00.

Sentencing Statistics

The following are official sentencing statistics for High Range Drink Driving NSW.

They are published by the Judicial Commission of NSW.

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%

Recent Related Cases

Not Guilty of High Range Drink Driving and Police Ordered to Pay Costs No Conviction or Disqualification for High Range Drink Driving Driver Avoids Conviction after case reduced from High Range to Low Range PCA High Range PCA and DUI Charges Dropped No Conviction for High Range PCA

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