Drink driving in NSW is not uncommon – How to avoid a criminal conviction for a drink driving charge in a NSW Court

Drink driving in NSW is not uncommon – How to avoid a criminal conviction for a drink driving charge in a NSW Court

HOW TO AVOID  A CRIMINAL CONVICTION FOR A DRINK DRIVING CHARGE (DUI)? 

Based on current driver licensing records, at least 1,000 driving under the influence offences are committed each year.

The law in relation to Drink driving is found under the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) (“The Act”).

National Criminal LawyerS , has represented thousands of clients who have been charged with all ranges of Driving under the influence (“DUI”). Only recently we were successful in keeping a third time high range drink driver out of gaol. The Court sentenced this specific individual to an intensive Correction Order.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF DUI?

Under section 110 of the Act, fully licensed drivers are permitted to have a blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.05.

Penalties will start to apply once that concentration exceeds 0.05, and drivers may face court for driving with a low range  (0.05 – 0.79), middle range (0.80 – 0.149) or high range (0.150 or above) prescribed concentration of alcohol (“PCA”).

MAXIMUM PENALTIES

The maximum penalty that a Court can impose for a High range PCA (0.15 or above), refuse breath analysis, a blood sample and/or alter concentration in the blood can be found in the table below:
Penalty
First offence
Second or subsequent offence
Maximum court- imposed fine
$3,300
$5,500
Maximum prison term
18 months
2 years
Minimum disqualification
12 months
2 years
Maximum disqualification
Unlimited
Unlimited
Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order)
3 years
5 years
Immediate licence suspension
Yes
Yes

For a Mid range PCA (blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 to less than 0.15) the maximum penalty can be found in the table below

Penalties
First offence
Second or subsequent offence
Maximum court- imposed fine
$2,200
$3,300
Maximum prison term
9 months
12 months
Minimum disqualification
6 months
12 months
Maximum disqualification
Unlimited
Unlimited
Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order)
12 months
3 years
Immediate licence suspension
Yes
Yes

Low, novice or special range PCA

  • Low range PCA: blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 to less than 0.08
  • Novice range PCA: blood alcohol concentration more than zero for learner, P1 or P2 drivers
  • Special range PCA: blood alcohol concentration over 0.02 for special category drivers
Penalty
First offence
Second or subsequent offence
Maximum court- imposed fine
$1,100
$2,200
Maximum prison term
N/A
N/A
Minimum disqualification
3 months
6 months
Maximum disqualification
6 months
Unlimited
Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order)
6 months
12 months
Immediate licence suspension
No
No

 

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR ANOTHER DRUG

Penalty

First offence

Second or subsequent offence

Maximum court- imposed fine$3,300$5,500
Maximum prison term18 months2 years
Minimum disqualification12 months2 years
Maximum disqualificationUnlimitedUnlimited
Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order)3 years5 years

 

PHARMACOLOGY REPORTS

The machines that Police use to measure your PCA are usually very accurate. But, it is important to remember that the offence is having a prescribed concentration of alcohol in your system while you are driving. It is therefore the reading at the time you were driving that would be in question.

What makes National Criminal Lawyers™ stand out from your standard general criminal law firm

“We take the time to understand everything about your circumstances including what you ate and precisely what time”. Michael Moussa

Even though the reading produced by a breath analysis machine at the station is deemed accurate, there may be ways to challenge that reading. An example of this is if your PCA is in question, your lawyer may need to retain an expert to calculate the reading at the time of driving. These experts may be pharmacologists who can calculate how different drugs and substances interact with biological systems. They may be able to show that although you were over the limit at the time of your breath analysis, you may not have been over at the time that you drove. In this case, you are not guilty of an offence.

Depending on the circumstances of each matter it may be worth obtaining a specialist pharmacological report.

Further to that, these principles may also be used to reduce your charge. For example, as your PCA reading may have been lower at the time of driving than what the analysis shows. This would substantially lessen the maximum penalties applicable.

In any case, we recommend that you speak to an experienced legal practitioner to successfully argue this defence. We would be able to advise you whether the defence may apply in your circumstance.

HOW TO GET A NON-CONVICTION FOR A LOW OR MID-RANGE MATTER?

For a lot of people, DUI charges are the first time before the criminal justice system and there are many people first time charged that have no idea of what is likely to occur at court after being arrested for a DUI. Our Senior Criminal Lawyers represents clients often at first appearance in the Local Court for Low and Mid-Range DUI matters. We have had proven track record success for achieving non-convictions for many clients charged with DUI offences.

In such matters we are the Sydney Criminal Lawyers for high quality preparation work (including obtaining references, a letter of apology and preparing submissions are done in such a way to ensure the best chances of having matters finalised at the first appearance by way of a non-recording of a conviction).

At sentencing hearings our expert criminal lawyers often submit to Magistrates persuading them that it would be inexpedient to record a conviction in these particular circumstances. Our success rates in this regard are second to none.

National Criminal Lawyers™ have extensive knowledge in the research of case law in respect of similar cases where non-convictions were recorded for serious drink driving charges, for more information visit our dedicated non-conviction page.

HABITUAL OFFENDERS DECLARATIONS

On 28 October 2017, new laws came into effect which abolished the habitual offender scheme in NSW. The laws mean that fresh habitual offender declarations can no longer be made.

OUR SENIOR LAWYERS GUARANTEE 

If you have been charged with any driving related offence, Our Team at National Criminal Lawyers™ are well versed and specialists in having these charges either withdrawn or achieving favourable outcomes. We also guarantee for every client, however small or big your matter is, you will be represented with a Senior Criminal Lawyer.

Book your first free appointment with National Criminal lawyers now.
CONTACT US! 02 9893 1889

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