Drink Driving Offences
A drink driving conviction is a criminal conviction. Even with just a Traffic Infringement Notice, this is recorded on your criminal record as soon as you pay the fine, or on the 29th day from the notice, when your licence automatically becomes suspended. This can label you as a criminal with future job applications, and will affect you any time you come before the court for anything else. Drink Driving Defence Melbourne can represent you with a driving under the influence lawyer at court to avoid a conviction. The consequences of a conviction go deeper than you probably realise.
What is Considered Drink Driving?
The Prescribed Content of Alcohol (PCA) allowed for those on a full licence is usually 0.05 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) (unless you are a learner, truck driver, or on a probationary or restricted zero BAC requirement licence, such as driving during a period where your car must be fitted with an interlock device). If you exceed the PCA, you may be charged with:
- DUI (Driving whilst under the influence of intoxicating liquor);
- Exceeding the prescribed concentration of alcohol while driving; or
- Within 3 hours of driving, exceeding the prescribed concentration of alcohol after a breath test or blood analysis.
Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor s 49(1)(a)
A person is guilty of this offence if he or she drives a motor vehicle or is in charge of a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the motor vehicle. If you have been charged, contact a driving under the influence lawyer to help with your case and provide you with legal aid.
Exceeding Prescribed Content of Alcohol s49(1)(b)
A person can be charged and convicted of a low range drink driving offence when at the time he was randomly stopped, his blood alcohol concentration is higher than 0.05% but lower than 0.07%. The driver must be a holder of a license with a Zero BAC such as professional driver’s license, a learner’s permit or a probationary license. It also applies to drivers holding full licenses if they are aged below 26 years of age.
A person can be charged with and convicted of a midrange drink driving offence when at the time he was randomly stopped on the roadway, the concentration of alcohol in his blood is higher than 0.07 but lower than 0.15%. All drivers regardless of the type of license they hold can be charged with and convicted of a mid-range drink driving offence.
High range drink driving is driving while under the influence of alcohol and not merely drink driving because high range drink driving means that the BAC reading was 0.15% or higher. This means that he was driving or in charge of a motor vehicle while his capacity to operate that motor vehicle was impaired by the alcohol in his blood.
Within 3 hours of driving, exceeding the prescribed concentration of alcohol after a breath test or blood analysis s 49(1)(f)
This section applies the same limits as a PCA offence under s 49(1)(b) however extends to circumstances up to three hours after driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle.
This means that within three hours of driving, a person may be found guilty of this offence, provided it can be shown that the concentration of alcohol is not solely due to consumption of alcohol that occurred after driving.
Refusing Breath Test or Analysis s 49(1)(c) & (1)(e)
It is an offence for a person to refuse to provide a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT), whether at a Random Breath Test set up on the road or if pulled over by police in general. It is also an offence to refuse to comply with a direction under s 49(1)(e) to accompany police to the station or vehicle to provide a secondary sample of breath.
The penalties and licence suspension periods for refusing a PBT or for refusing to comply with a direction are far higher than providing a sample and being found of even a high-range drink driving charge. This is to encourage safe practices on the road, whereby it is supposedly far more beneficial for a driver to be honest and submit to testing than to try and evade the result. If you need advice from a professional, contact a driving under the influence lawyer.
If you have been charged with any of the above offences please a driving under the influence lawyer immediately.