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What are the penalties for Drink Driving?

Video Transcript

This video is about the penalties for drink driving offences here in New South Wales.

Now I don’t want anything that I say in this video to be taken as any way condoning or diminishing the consequences of drink driving.

Drink driving is a very serious criminal offence.

It creates catastrophic consequences for road users and their families.

A lot of people die due to drink driving and again I don’t want this video to be seen as diminishing the impact of drink driving on our society.

Now the first category of drink driving offence that I’m going to talk about is called low range drink driving.

Now the penalty for low range drink driving if it’s the first major traffic offence within five years is this.

There is what’s called an automatic period of disqualification.

Now an automatic period of disqualification is what the court magistrate will give you unless there are reasons to reduce it down to what’s called a minimum period of disqualification.

Now the automatic period of disqualification for low range drink driving is six months.

Now the magistrate can reduce that down to a minimum period of disqualification of three months.

There is also a maximum fine of eleven hundred dollars.

Now that’s for low range drink driving first major traffic offence within five years.

If it’s your second or subsequent, or second or later major traffic offence within five years then the automatic period of disqualification goes up to 12 months.

The minimum period of disqualification goes up to six months.

So if the magistrate finds good reasons to reduce the automatic period down to the minimum period the magistrate can reduce it from twelve months to six months.

Now what are good reasons?

Good reasons can be a good driving history, a strong need for a license, a person who otherwise has no criminal convictions, who has produced character references, who’s done the traffic offender program.

Things like that can reduce your automatic period of qualification down to the minimum.

The second level of drink driving offence is called middle range drink driving or mid-range PCA.

Now for a first major traffic offence within a five-year period the automatic period of disqualification is 12 months, the minimum period of disqualification is six months, and there’s a maximum fine of twenty two hundred dollars.

It also attracts a maximum prison sentence of nine months.

So it’s a serious offence and it can give you prison time so you have to treat it quite seriously.

Now if it’s just second or subsequent or second or later major traffic offence within five years the automatic period of disqualification is three years and that can go down to a minimum of twelve months.

There’s also a maximum fine of thirty three hundred dollars and a potentially 12 month prison sentence.

Now the final category of drink driving offences I’m going to talk about is the very serious offence of high range drink driving.

Now for a high range of driving offence high range pca offence for a first major traffic offence within five years there’s an automatic period of disqualification of three years and the magistrate can reduce that period of disqualification down to a minimum of twelve months, it attracts a maximum fine of thirty three hundred dollars, and a possible prison sentence of eighteen months.

Now for a second or subsequent major traffic offence within a five-year period the automatic disqualification goes up to five years and it can be brought down to a minimum period of disqualification of two years.

There’s also a maximum fine of fifty five hundred dollars and it attracts a possible jail sentence of two years.

So you must treat it very, very seriously.

Now for all of these categories of offences the magistrate or the judge as the case may be can deal with you under what’s called section 10 dismissal or conditional release order.

Now section 10 dismissal or conditional release order means that you’re guilty of an offence that is you’ve entered a plea of guilty or you’ll be found guilty but the magistrate or judge does not give you a criminal conviction, does not give you a disqualification, does not give you a fine.

However you’ll only get a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order if there are good reasons to do so.

So good reasons could include a good traffic history, so you’ve been driving a long time and had very few speeding offences, or no speeding offences, or anything of the sort.

Video transcription by YouTube

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