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Drug Driving

Drug Driving is an offence under section 111 of the Road Transport Act 2013. The maximum penalty if it is your first ‘Major Traffic Offence’ in 5 Years is:

  1. An ‘automatic’ licence disqualification of 6 Month which the magistrate can reduce to a ‘minimum’ of 3 months, and
  2. A fine of $1,100

The maximum penalty if it is your second or more ‘major traffic offence’ in 5 years is:

  1. An ‘automatic’ disqualification of 12 months which the magistrate can reduce to a minimum of 6 months, and
  2. A fine of $2,200

However, there will be no criminal conviction, disqualification or fine if the magistrate is persuaded to grant a Section 10(1)(A) Dismissal, or a Conditional Release Order Without a Conviction.

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

  1. You drove a motor vehicle, or occupied the driver seat of a motor vehicle and attempted to put it in motion, or were a fully licensed driver and occupied the passenger seat while a learner driver was driving, and
  2. You had a prescribed Illicit substance in your saliva, blood or urine

There is no requirement that you were actually affected by the drug at the time of driving, which means the presence of a very small quantity is enough to substantiate the charge.

Illicit Substances include:

  1. Cannabis
  2. Amphetamines (such as ‘speed and ‘ecstacy’), and
  3. Cocaine

A defence to the charge is that you made an honest and reasonable mistake of fact about the presence of the drug in your system. If you wish to plead guilty you can maximise the chance of receiving a lenient outcome by:

  1. Obtaining character references
  2. Writing an apology letter, and
  3. Completing a Traffic Offender Program

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