Driving under the influence of a drug or alcohol is an offence under section 112 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW). Upon conviction, a maximum penalty of 9 months imprisonment applies. The maximum fine that can be imposed for first time offenders is $3,300. Upon conviction, an automatic disqualification period of 3 years, and a minimum disqualification period of 12 months, applies.
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|Maximum Fine||Maximum Imprisonment||Minimum Disqualification||Automatic Disqualification||Interlock Period|
|First Offence||$3,300||18 months||12 months||3 years||N/A|
|Second Offence||$5,500||2 years||2 years||5 years||24 months*|
* If the court makes an interlock order, then the period of disqualification is reduced to a maximum of 9 months and a minimum of 6 months. Following the completion of the period of disqualification, the interlock licence period will commence.
Will I lose my licence?
Upon conviction, your licence will be disqualified. In certain circumstances, the magistrate may decide to reduce the automatic period of disqualification towards the minimum. However, the disqualification period cannot be reduced below the minimum. The only way to avoid your licence being disqualified is to be sentenced without conviciton.
Can I avoid a criminal conviction?
Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 allows a Court to find a person guilty, however not record a conviction.
Avoiding a criminal conviction is not always appropriate or attainable even if an offender has no prior criminal history. This is because a magistrate is required to take into account the following factors when considering sentencing an offender under section 10:
- The person’s character, antecedents, age, health and mental condition;
- The trivial nature of the offence;
- The extenuating circumstances in which the offence was committed; and
- Any other matter that the court thinks proper to consider.
However, it is important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and simply ticking each box will not guarantee an offender receives a section 10.
For FREE initial advice about the prospects of your matter, contact one of our criminal law specialists.
Should I do the Traffic Offenders Program?
The Traffic Offenders Program is a program run for people who have committed a serious traffic offence like drug driving. It covers topics such as traffic law, dangers of drugs and driving, lectures from ambulance officers etc.
People awaiting sentence can complete the program before their sentence. The program then produces a report and that gets sent to the Magistrate before your sentence. It will be taken into account at sentence.
The Traffic Offenders Program is an excellent program and completing it may have a significant impact at your sentence. If you are looking for an Accredited one day Traffic Offenders Program, contact one of our partners below: