Drink Driving Penalties

Drink Driving PenaltiesDrink Driving penalties are a relatively complex area of the criminal law. To begin with, there are several offences that come under the drink driving offences umbrella. For fully licensed drivers, there are three drink driving offences – low range PCA (prescribed concentration of alcohol), mid range PCA and high range PCA. But different penalties apply if you are charged with a second (or third or more) offence within a five year period.

In addition, there is the less common offence of Driving Under the Influence, which adds another range of penalties.

So there are basically seven different ranges of penalties that may apply to a fully licensed driver who is charged with a drink driving offence.

Refusing a breath test and refusing breath analysis also attract penalties within the drink driving sphere.

Lastly, there are also different categories and penalties that apply to drivers who are not fully licensed.

So if you have been charged with any of these offences, you would do well to seek the expert advice of a drink driving lawyer.

Drink Driving Penalties:

OFFENCE FIRST OFFENCE (Within 5 years) SUBSEQUENT OFFENCE (Previously convicted of offence within 5 years)
High Range PCA 0.15 and over Fine: $3,300 Imprisonment: 18 mths ADP: 3 yrs MDP: 12 mths Fine: $5,500 Imprisonment: 2 yrs ADP: 5 yrs MDP: 2 yrs
Mid Range PCA 0.08 – under 0.15 Fine: $2,200 Imprisonment: 9 mths ADP: 12 mths MDP: 6 mths Fine: $3,300 Imprisonment: 12 mths ADP: 3 yrs MDP: 12 mths
Low Range PCA 0.05 – under 0.08 Fine: $1,100 ADP: 6 mths MDP: 3 mths Fine: $2,200 ADP: 12 mths MDP: 6 mths
Special Range PCA 0.02  – under 0.05 Fine: $1,100 ADP: 6 mths MDP: 3 mths Fine: $2,200 ADP: 12 mths MDP: 6 mths
Novice Range PCA 0.00 – under 0.02 Fine: $1,100 ADP: 6 mths MDP: 3 mths Fine: $2,200 ADP: 12 mths MDP: 6 mths
Driving under the   influence Fine: $2,200 Imprisonment: 9 mths ADP: 12 mths MDP: 6 mths Fine: $3,300 Imprisonment: 12 mths ADP: 3 yrs MDP: 12 mths
Refuse Breath Test Fine: $1,100 No ADP or MDP. Court may disqualify   as it sees fit.  There is no designated First or Subsequent Offence so the same penalties apply – i.e. Fine $1,100 No ADP or MDP. Court may disqualify   as it sees fit.
Refuse Breath   Analysis Fine: $3,300 Imprisonment: 18 mths ADP: 3 yrs MDP: 12 mths Fine: $5,500 Imprisonment: 24 mths ADP: 5 yrs MDP: 2 years

Drink Driving Penalties – Fines, Imprisonment, Disqualification

As you can see, drink driving penalties attract fines (and/or imprisonment periods) as well as periods of disqualification from driving. Most of these offences carry an automatic disqualification period, and some also carry a minimum disqualification period. The automatic disqualification period may in certain circumstances be reduced (or increased) by a Court. Minimum disqualification is self explanatory – a Court has no discretion to, and cannot, reduce it, although a longer disqualification period can, and often is, imposed as part of the drink driving penalties determined by a Court.