Drink Driving Lawyers Sydney

Drink Driving Lawyers Sydney NSW: DUI Attorney

When you’re charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Sydney, it could spell trouble and a criminal record for you. There are plenty of consequences tied to a driving offence, and loss of licence is the least of your worries among many others.

As such, you need a lawyer who can ably defend you in local court. You need someone who’s had a vast experience when it comes to handling similar matters and has achieved positive results. Whether you choose to plead guilty or not, a drink driving lawyer in Sydney needs to know their way around the situation to help you.

While hiring experienced Sydney drink driving lawyers is your top priority, that doesn’t mean you should be blind going into your own legal defence. Here are a few things you should know about drink driving charges in NSW.

Law Terminologies You Need to be Aware of

Before we go into details on the matter, here are a few of the legal jargons that you need to understand.

Disqualification period refers to the time you are prohibited from driving. There are two types of disqualification, which are:

  • Automatic – This is the normal time you are suspended from driving depending on the criminal offence
  • Minimum – This period of disqualification is the shortest possible duration wherein you’re prevented from driving
  • It is possible to “backdate” disqualification, provided a period of suspension has been served from the day the offender has been pulled over by police
  • Disqualification, however, may be overridden by a Magistrate if he/ she chooses to adjudicate your case using “Section 10”

Section 10

  • Section 10 refers to when the Magistrate decides to not disqualify you or lay down a criminal conviction after you plead guilty
  • This is possible when the Magistrate sees you are someone who would not repeat the offence again, of good character, or may have an urgent need for the licence
  • Section 10 is usually awarded by proving your character, which you can do by providing around three character references

Habitual Offenders

  • You are considered a habitual offender when you incur 3 or more major criminal offences in a duration of 5 years
  • When declared a habitual offender, 5 years is automatically added to any licence disqualification imposed by the local courts.

Different Types of Drink Driving Offences

There are a total of five drink driving offence categories that you can be charged with. They include:

Novice Range Drink Driving

  • Novice range is when provisional licence holders or learner drivers are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, with the concentration of alcohol in the blood ranging from 0.001 to 0.019

Special Range Drink Driving

  • Special range is when someone who holds a special category licence drives with a 0.020 to 0.049 blood alcohol concentration, the offence falls under this type of drink driving case

Low Range Drink Driving

  • A person who is caught driving a motor vehicle with a 0.050 to 0.079 blood alcohol concentration is categorised under this drink driving type

Mid Range Drink Driving

  • Also known as mid range PCA, this refers to an incident when a person with a 0.080 to 0.149 blood alcohol concentration is caught driving a motor vehicle

High Range Drink Driving

  • Also known as High Range PCA, this is when someone is caught driving a motor vehicle with 0.150 and more alcohol concentration in the blood, high range PCA is a more serious type of offence
  • For high range drink driving, Section 10 is rarely awarded and a good dui lawyer is highly recommended

Table of Drink Driving Offence Penalties per Type

There are different penalties given to an offender depending on the type of offence and the frequency it has been repeated. Here’s a table that will give a rundown of everything you need to know.

Drink Driving TypePenalty1st Offence2nd Offence Onwards
Novice/ Special/ Low Range Drink DrivingMaximum Fine$1100$2200
Maximum Prison SentenceNot applicableNot applicable
Automatic Disqualification6 months12 months
Minimum Disqualification3 months6 months
Maximum Disqualification6 monthsunlimited
Mid Range Drink DrivingMaximum Fine$2200$3300
Maximum Prison Sentence9 months12 months
Automatic Disqualification12 months3 years
Minimum Disqualification6 months12 months
Maximum Disqualificationunlimitedunlimited
High Range Drink DrivingMaximum Fine$3300$5500
Maximum Prison Sentence18 months2 years
Automatic Disqualification3 years5 years
Minimum Disqualification12 months2 years
Maximum Disqualificationunlimitedunlimited

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Common Defences to Drink Driving Offences

It is important to know how you can able defend yourself in local court, and these are things that drink driving lawyers Sydney can inform you on. Some of the common legal defences to a drink drive offence are the following:

1. Inaccurate Reading

There are plenty of circumstances where there might be an inaccurate reading of blood alcohol concentration with a random breath test. Studies reveal that after 30 minutes to an hour, alcohol concentration in the body rises naturally, which is further influenced by age, food consumed along the drink, and many more. That means that the time the breath analysis has to be done within the first 30 minutes, if not there’s a risk for an erroneous high reading.

2. Two-Hour Rule

If it has been more than two hours after a person last drove, then the police may no longer initiate a breath analysis test, otherwise that evidence is made irrelevant to a given case.

3. Person at Home

Just like the previous point that we covered, the police are not allowed to conduct a breath test if a suspect is already in his/ her property, otherwise the finding will be excluded from court.

4. Honest Mistake

We’ve already discussed the ranges for different drink driving types. Some are well aware of it, but they don’t have an accurate way of saying whether they’ve crossed the threshold or not, thus an honest mistake is made.

The Verdict on Drink Driving Offences (DUI)

Overall a drink drive charge in Sydney, NSW can be a pretty serious charge and you want to avoid driving under the influence. If you need legal aid make sure you contact a qualified traffic offence lawyer that knows this type of criminal law to help you get the best outcome in court.


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