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Drink Driving Offences

We have handled hundreds of drink-driving matters in the NSW local courts, and we are in a good position to advise you on the spectrum of possible sentencing outcomes for you.

See what we do for you (click here).

 Here’s a bit of background on drink driving offences:

  • RBT offences –Random Breath Testing, which is conducted by police to test for alcohol in the breath; OR
  • PCA offences – “Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol”, which is how the court describes the drink driving offences.

PCA offences occur when the driver is detected with a “Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol” that is outside the legally permitted range/limit.

A person’s alcohol level is measured is by a breath test, usually administered by police, where the driver exhales 210 litres of breath, and this is measured for the content of alcohol.

For full regular driving license holders, the blood alcohol concentrations are:

Low Range PCA:  the driver has been detected between: 0.05 – 0.08

Mid Range PCA:  the driver has been detected between: 0.08 – 0.15

High Range PCA: the driver has been detected over:  0.15

Learner plate drivers (“L’s”), and green Provisional plate drivers (“Green P’s”),  cannot have ANY alcohol in their breath, therefore, can be charged with one of the following PCA offences:

Novice Range PCA: the L/P plate driver has been detected between: 0.0 – 0.02

Special Range PCA:  the driver has been detected between: 0.02 – 0.05

Courses to help improve your Drink Driving Offence position

In many cases of drink or drug driving offences, particularly if it’s a first offence, we will recommend you complete the Traffic Offenders Intervention Program (TOIP).

The TOIP is an experience-based education program on road safety and low risk driving behaviours that provides a certificate of completion that can be tendered in court when the Magistrate is determining your penalty.  Completing the TOIP demonstrates to the court that you regret your actions, you are willing to undertake training to make you a better driver, and you are less likely to commit further offences.

There are several TOIP courses available.  The PCYC offers the TOIP every Wednesday night for 6 consecutive weeks, in Lismore.   The course also runs in Tweed, with the option of finishing the entire TOIP in one day.  We can talk to you more about this, but here are some links for Northern Rivers residents.

TOIP providers throughout NSW

Personal/ Professional References

In most situations we will suggest you come to court with character and/or professional references from your family/friends/workplace.

See References on this website for what your reference should contain.

We may also suggest you bring a family member or support person – depends on your circumstances.

Drink Driving Penalties

All of the above offences carry a possible fine.  The Magistrate decides if, and what amount, you are fined.

There is also a driver’s license suspension.

Click on the link below to see the automatic and minimum license disqualification periods, jail terms, and range of fines for most drink and drug driving offences.

RMS Drug Alcohol penalites

There is also the option of a “Section 10” –  which means the offence is proven, but no conviction is recorded.  We’ll talk to you about the likelihood of your penalty attracting a section 10.

This might sound complicated, but we will explain your options and help you work through the legal processes.

If you have a drink driving offence and need a lawyer or would like more information, please contact us.


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