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Drink Driving Offences VIC

Drink Driving & Drugs Driving Offences are considered "serious offences" in Victoria. You can get severe penalties if you drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The penalties depend on the facts of each case, such as your blood alcohol concentration and if you have committed similar offences before.

The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria hears applications for restoration of driver licences for people who have lost their licence for drink or drug driving offences. The Court also hears applications for reduction of time between assessments and applications to remove an alcohol interlock condition on their licence. The relevant provisions can be found in Sections 49 to 50AAC of the Road Safety Act 1986.

Drink Driving charges in VIC are subject to the level of Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA) that exceeds your legal limit. This limit is determined by the class of licence and the vehicle that is being driven. For example, Truck, bus or taxi drivers (professional drivers), probationary and learner drivers, and people who have previously committed drink driving offences must have a zero blood alcohol concentration (BAC). All other drivers must stay under .05 BAC.

Drink driving offences are not limited to public roads. They can be committed on private property. Those caught driving with a BAC over the legal limit face heavy fines and loss of licence and, for the most serious offenders, possible imprisonment.

A police officer may require a person to undergo breath analysis in accordance with the officer’s direction if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor and has very recently been the driver of a motor vehicle on a public road.

It’s also an offence to:

  • drive under the influence of alcohol
  • refuse to provide a breath or blood sample or to stop at a booze bus (or Random Breath Test station), or fail to cooperate when a breath or blood test is being conducted
  • be .05 BAC or over while accompanying a learner driver.

Drink Driving Offences & penalties

Infringement notices are only issued for first offences. Traffic infringement notices are not issued for subsequent drink driving offences, or for drink driving offences with a BAC of .15 or above. Charges are laid for the offence and the matter is dealt with at court. For a first offence, the authorities can choose to issue you with an infringement notice or take you to court.

If the authorities choose to lay charges and take you to court, or if you choose to go to court because you do not agree with the infringement notice and the court finds you guilty, more serious penalties may apply. The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria hears applications for restoration of driver licences for people who have lost their licence for drink or drug driving offences.

The Court also hears applications for reduction of time between assessments and applications to remove an alcohol interlock condition on their licence.

The Road Safety Act 1986, s49 states that a person who is over the prescribed concentration of alcohol may lose their license, receive a fine and face up to 6 months imprisonment for a second offence. The more serious offence of Culpable Driving, as stated in s318 of the Crimes Act, may result in a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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