A drunk driving offense in New South Wales (NSW) can carry heavy penalties including fines, imprisonment, and license disqualification. Such an offense can have a negative impact on your career, your loved ones, and your entire future. That’s why you need to take a drink driving offence seriously – even if it’s your first one. This article provides information on the penalties involved in a drink driving offense in Sydney, NSW.
If your blood alcohol level or BAC is less than 0.079, you may escape with an on-the-spot fine. But if you are charged with a drunk driving offense for the second or third time, you may have to attend court. On the other hand, New South Wales also has an alcohol interlock program. If you have been sentenced to an alcohol interlock order, you will be subjected to a much shorter period of license disqualification compared to drivers who are not sentenced to an interlock order. The Road Transport Act 2013 of New South Wales set out the penalties for drink driving offenses. There are 5 levels of drink driving offenses in New South Wales including:
- Novice range – A BAC level between 0.00 to 0.019 for learners, P1, and P2 drivers
- Special range – A BAC level between 0.02 to 0.049 for learners, P1, and P2 drivers
- Low range – A BAC level between 0.05 to 0.079 for learners, P1, and P2 drivers
- Mid range – A BAC level between 0.08 to 0.149 for learners, P1, and P2 drivers
- High range – A BAC level of 0.15 or higher for learners, P1, and P2 drivers
Each range has a different penalty, imprisonment term, and license suspension period. If you are found guilty of drink driving in Sydney for the first time under the novice, special, or low ranges, your license can be suspended for up to three months and you may be issued an on-the-spot fine of $2200. If it’s your second or subsequent offense, you should attend court. The court may impose a fine of $3300 and disqualify your license for up to 12 months.
If you have been found guilty of a mid range drink driving offense for the first time, you can be fined $2200 and imprisoned for 9 months. Your license can be suspended for up to 6 or 12 months depending on the seriousness of the charge. If you are found guilty of a mid range drink driving offense for the second or subsequent time, you can be fined up to $3,300 and imprisoned for up to 12 months. Your license can be disqualified for up to 12 months or 3 years.
On the other hand, a high range drink driving offense entails a fine of up to $3,300 for the first offense and $5,500 for the second or subsequent offense. The first offense may entail an imprisonment term of up to 18 months and up to two years for a second or subsequent offense.
When you have been charged with drink driving in Sydney, you should hire an experienced drink driving lawyer at Ainsley Law to represent your case and either reduce or completely drop your charges.