Drink Driving

The wealth of experience Spencer Lawyers have in Traffic Law and Drink Driving Law ensures that you get the best chance of defending a Drink Driving charge or, if you wish to plead guilty, getting a ‘Section 10’ (no conviction or disqualification). Our in-depth knowledge of Drink Driving Law also allows us to defend and win cases where police have not complied with the appropriate rules.

We understand how important your licence and good record are, and will strenuously defend your licence and your reputation. We will advise you of all the options available to you, and the relevance of each to your case, including the Alcohol Interlock Program (where a breath testing device is fitted to your car), Traffic Offender Program, and Sober Driver Program. Where appropriate, we can get ‘pharmacologists’ to prepare reports showing that your actual blood alcohol concentration was less than police allege; which can reduce the range of the charge.

Types of Drink Driving Charges

Novice Range Drink Driving
This charge applies where a learner or provisional licence holder drives a motor vehicle on a ‘public road’ or ‘road related area’ with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.001 and 0.019 grams of alcohol per 100mls of blood.

If a Court convicts a person of this offence it must disqualify them from driving for a period of time. For a first offence, the automatic disqualification is 6 months, though the Magistrate can reduce this to a minimum of 3 months. This offence has a maximum fine of $1,100.00.

If this charge is a second or subsequent major traffic offence within 5 years, the automatic disqualification period is 12 months, though the Magistrate can reduce this to a minimum of 6 months. This offence has a maximum fine of $2,200.00.

In either case, the Magistrate can choose to deal with the matter under ‘Section 10’, i.e. without conviction, disqualification or fine.

Special Range Drink Driving
This charge applies where a special category licence holder drives a motor vehicle on a ‘public road’ or ‘road related area’ with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.020 and 0.049 grams of alcohol per 100mls of blood.

If a court convicts a person of this offence it must disqualify them from driving for a period of time. The automatic period of disqualification for a first offence is 6 months, though the Magistrate can reduce this to a minimum of 3 months. The maximum fine for this offence is $1,100.00.

If this charge is a second or subsequent major traffic offence within 5 years, the automatic period of disqualification is 12 months, though the Magistrate can reduce this to a minimum of 6 months. The maximum fine for this offence is $2,200.00.

In either case, the Magistrate can choose to deal with the matter under ‘Section 10’, i.e. without conviction, disqualification or fine.

Low Range Drink Driving
This charge applies when a person drives a motor vehicle on a ‘public road’ or ‘road related area’ with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.050 and 0.079 grams of alcohol per 100mls of blood.

If a Court convicts a person of this offence it must disqualify them from driving for a period of time. The automatic period for a first offence is 6 months, though the Magistrate can reduce that disqualification period to a minimum of 3 months. The maximum fine is $1,100.00.

If this charge is a second or subsequent major traffic offence within 5 years, the automatic period of disqualification is 12 months, though the Magistrate can reduce this to a minimum of 6 months. The maximum fine is $2,200.00.

In either case, the Magistrate can choose to deal with the matter under ‘Section 10’, i.e. without conviction, disqualification or fine.

Mid Range Drink Driving
This charge applies where a person drives a motor vehicle on a ‘public road’ or ‘road related area’ with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.080 and 0.149 grams of alcohol per 100mls of blood.

If a Court convicts a person of this offence it must disqualify them from driving for a period of time. The automatic period for a first major traffic offence is 12 months, though the Magistrate has the discretion to reduce this period to a minimum of 6 months. There is a maximum prison sentence of 9 months and/or a maximum fine of $2,200.00.

If this offence is a second or subsequent major traffic offence within 5 years, the automatic period of disqualification is 3 years, though the Magistrate can reduce this to a minimum of 12 months. There is a maximum prison sentence of up to 12 months and/or a maximum fine of $3,300.00.

In either case, the Magistrate can choose to deal with the matter under ‘Section 10’, i.e. without conviction, disqualification or fine.

High Range Drink Driving
This charge applies where a person drives a motor vehicle on a ‘public road’ or ‘road related area’ with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.150 grams of alcohol per 100mls of blood.

If a Court convicts a person of this offence it must disqualify them from driving for a period of time. High Range Drink Driving is a serious offence, and if there is a collision carries the real possibility of a prison sentence and the Courts do not treat offenders leniently.

It is therefore important to treat High Range Drink Driving cases very seriously.

The automatic period of disqualification is 2 years for someone who has not been convicted of another major traffic offence within the previous 5 years. The Magistrate can reduce that disqualification period to a minimum of 12 months. There is a maximum prison sentence of 18 months and/or a maximum fine of $3,300.00.

If this offence is a second or subsequent major traffic offence within 5 years, the automatic period of disqualification is 5 years, though the Magistrate has discretion to reduce that disqualification period to a minimum of 2 years. There is a maximum prison sentence of 2 years and/or a maximum fine of up to $5,500.00.

Although it is rare in these cases, the Magistrate can choose to deal with the matter under ‘Section 10’, i.e. without conviction, disqualification or fine.

Legislation and penalties are subject to change.