Avoiding a criminal record for low range drink driving

Posted by janelle.tarabay on 09 October 2017

One of the most common offences in New South Wales is drink driving. As the weather begins to warm up, more people are out socialising and attending end of year functions and accordingly, more RBT’s begin to appear on our roads.

Unfortunately, most people who fail their RBT do not realise how easy it is to exceed the legal limit of alcohol, being 0.05, until it is too late. It is a common misconception that “counting” drinks is a fool proof method for remaining under the limit. Many people believe if they consume two drinks in the first hour, and one drink for every hour that follows, then at the end of the night they will be ok to drive home. However, if you sit in a Local Court on any given day, you will see that this method of calculation is often a recipe for receiving a criminal conviction.

Unlike Mid Range PCA and High Range PCA, Low Range PCA offences do not carry a term of imprisonment as a maximum penalty. The maximum penalty for Low Range PCA is a fine of $1,100 and a six month licence disqualification.

However, being a “fine only” offence does not mean that Low Range PCA is considered trivial.

Most people who come before a court charged with Low Range PCA expect to get a section 10, so that they can avoid a conviction and avoid losing their licence. However, when sentencing Low Range PCA offences Magistrate’s will often be heard reminding offenders that “general deterrence” weighs very heavily in drink driving matters, and the protection of our community is paramount. As a result, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to avoid a conviction for this offence, simply because of its prevalence in our community.

If you have been charged with any drink driving offence, we strongly advise contacting one of our traffic law specialists for a free initial consultation. Our lawyers appear daily in courts throughout New South Wales and understand the importance of a quality, well prepared case to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved for our clients.