Novice range drink driving applies to drivers who must maintain a zero alcohol limit, such as P1 and P2 provisional licence holders. To be charged with novice range, a driver must return a breath analysis reading above 0.00 and up to 0.019. Police then have the discretion to provide a driver with an infringement notice or a court attendance notice.
If you receive an infringement notice, you will not be required to attend court however you will be required to pay a fine and serve a period of suspension. Should you wish to have the matter determined by a magistrate, you will have the option to elect to have the matter heard in court. The details of this can be found on the infringement notice provided to you.
If you receive a court attendance notice, you will be required to attend court.
Regardless of whether you receive an infringement notice or a court attendance notice, you will be issued an immediate suspension of your licence by police. This means you cannot drive until your matter is determined by the court. There is an option to appeal the police suspension earlier, however the suspension will only be lifted in exceptional circumstances.
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The penalties for novice range drink driving are less serious than mid and high range, as there is no term of imprisonment. However, upon conviction an offender will be required to serve a period of disqualification. The penalties increase if the offence is a second or subsequent offence.
|Maximum Fine||Maximum Imprisonment||Automatic Disqualification||Minimum Disqualification||Mandatory Interlock|
|First Offence||$2,200||N/A||6 months||3 months||N/A|
|Second or Subsequence Offence||$3,300||N/A||3 months||1 months||12 months|
Will I receive a criminal record?
Due to the prevalence of drink driving within our community, the most likely outcome for a novice range drink driving is a criminal conviction, which will also result in a licence disqualification.
However, in certain circumstances a criminal conviction can be avoided. This will depend on an offender’s record, the seriousness of the offence, and the strength of the subjective case.
Will I lose my licence?
Upon conviction, an offender will have their licence disqualified for the automatic period. However, this period can be reduced at the magistrate’s discretion, but the period of disqualification cannot go below the minimum period prescribed by the legislation.
The only way to avoid serving a period of disqualification is to be sentenced without conviction.