Alcohol Related Crimes

Important Information for the Festive Season –

Alcohol-Related Offences

By Erin Nulty

 

As of 17 December 2017, the toll for fatalities on the road for this year alone has already reached a record-breaking 372 and the holidays have not yet begun.

Drinking and driving increases your risk of having an accident, and not only injuring yourself, but your passengers, pedestrians and other road users. It is easy to say to yourself that one more drink will be fine, or “that won’t happen to me.” But, unfortunately, no one is exempt from the increased risk of injury and/or death that drinking and driving comes is fraught with. It’s troubling to look at the statistics so far and the fact that this number will only increase over this festive season, is terribly frightening.

The penalties for drink driving vary depending on whether it is your first or subsequent offence.  The sentencing options available to the court consists of fines, minimum disqualification periods, mandatory interlock periods, good behaviour bonds, community service orders, intensive correction orders and full-time imprisonment. A PCA means Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol.

We provide you with a summary of the penalties associated with alcohol-related driving offences in NSW, pursuant to the Road Transport Act 2013:

Novice PCA (>0.02)

Fine = $1,100 / $2,200

Min. disqualification period = 3 mths / 6 mths.

Automatic disqualification period = 6 mths / 12 mths.

Max. imprisonment = NIL / NIL

Min. interlock period = NIL / 12 mths.

Special Range PCA (0.02 – 0.049)

Fine = $1,100 / $2,200

Min. disqualification period = 3 mths / 6 mths.

Automatic disqualification period = 6 mths / 12 mths.

Max. imprisonment = NIL / NIL

Min. interlock period = N/A / 12 mths.

Low Range PCA (0.05 – 0.079)

Fine = $1,100 / $2,200

Min. disqualification period = 3 mths / 6 mths.

Automatic disqualification period = 6 mths / 12 mths.

Max. imprisonment = NIL / NIL

Min. interlock period = NIL / 12 mths.

Mid Range PCA (0.08 – 0.149)

Fine = $2,200 / $3,300

Min. disqualification period = 6mths / 6 mths

Automatic disqualification period = 12 mths / 9 mths

Max. imprisonment = 9mths / 12 mths

Min. interlock period = N/A / 24 mths

High Range PCA (<0.15)

Fine = $3,300 / $5,500

Min. disqualification period = 6 mths / 9 mths

Automatic disqualification period = 9 mths / 12 mths

Max. imprisonment = 18 mths / 24 mths

Min. interlock period = 24 mths / 48 mths

As of February 2015, the more serious drink driving offences, and particular the subsequent offences will inevitably receive an interlock order. The nature of the mandatory interlock program is an order that is available to the court upon conviction of certain drink driving offences, where participants will be required to apply for an “interlock drivers licence” to complete the program. There are certain eligibility requirements and guidelines for participants, so please ensure that you seek professional advice from a criminal law practitioner if you are facing a conviction of this kind. Once the device is installed in your motor vehicle, the driver will be required to ‘blow’ into the device and your engine will not start unless you register a nil alcohol reading.

At the time of the offence and particularly with mid-range and high-range PCA matters, it is available to the arresting police officer to automatically suspend your driver’s licence. If this occurs, you will be required to surrender your licence and such suspension is in place until your matter is dealt with by the court.

From the team at Joplin Lawyers, we strongly advise that you stay extra vigilant in making alternative travel arrangements if you intend on consuming alcohol. However, 3 keys points to remember if you find yourself in a pickle:

  1. Invoke your right to silence.
  2. You need only provide your name and produce your driver’s licence.
  3. Call 1300 JOPLIN.

 

 

December 19, 2017

Important Information for the Festive Season

Important Information for the Festive Season – Alcohol-Related Offences By Erin Nulty   As of 17 December 2017, the toll for fatalities on the road for this year alone has already reached a record-breaking 372 […]