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Novice Range Drink Driving

There is zero tolerance in the case of learner drivers. They are absolutely prohibited to drink and drive. For novice range drink driving the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is less than 0.05.

First offenders will receive infringement notices and the penalties are fines and demerit points. Subsequent offenders will receive stiff penalties and face a possible criminal conviction. It is actually difficult to contest the accuracy of the BAC because the alcoholmeters used by the police are quite reliable. Still, it is possible to dispute the BAC because what is punishable by law is the excess limit of alcohol while driving.

Drink driving penalties

 BAC

Licence Type

Fine

Licence Action/Points

Less than .95

Zero BAC Licence (e.g. professional drivers, P licence, L permit)

2.5 penalty units

10 demerit points

.05 to less than .07

Zero BAC Licence (e.g. professional drivers, P licence, L permit) and full licence (under 25 years)

3 penalty units

Cancellation of licence/permit and disqualification for 6 months

.05 to less than .07

Full licence (26 years or older)

3 penalty units

10 demerit points

.07 to less than .15

All drivers

3 to 4.25 penalty units

Cancellation of licence/permit and disqualification for 6-14 months depending on BAC

.15 or above, or for a subsequence offence

All drivers

Traffic infringement notices are not issued for BAC of .15 or above. Charges are laid for the offence and the matter is dealt with at court.

Attend Magistrates’ Court

Police authorities must be able to prove that is the case in order to sustain the imposition of the penalties.

Another defense the accused, who is a full license holder, may raise is honest mistake. The accused could have had no way of knowing that his BAC was already beyond the limit. This defense cannot be raised by learners because they are absolutely prohibited from drinking alcohol and then driving.

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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