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Do You Understand the Penalties for Drink Driving and Drug Driving?

Having some of the most skilled drink driving lawyers and drug driving lawyers in Drink and Drug Driving - PenaltiesSouth Australia, Williams Legal is able to help you with even the most complex of cases. However, not many people understand the different offences and penalties that exist.

It is important to remember that there are actually 3 different offences – driving with the prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA), driving under the influence (DUI) and Driving with prescribed drug (PD).

Prescribed Concentration Alcohol (PCA) is the most common drink driving offence. This is where you are pulled over by police or enter a random breath testing (RBT) station. The police will ask you to blow into a yellow handheld machine called an alcolyser. If a positive reading is returned, you will be taken to a police station to provide a breath sample into a more accurate machine. You don’t need to seem drunk or to drive erratically to be guilty of this offence.

Driving With Prescribed Drug In Oral Fluid Or Blood (PD) is the most common drug driving offence. Like PCA this is where you are pulled over and tested by police. Again, you do not need to appear like you are under the effects of a drug. Police will first conduct a screening test where a sample of the saliva from your tongue is taken. They may then conduct an oral fluid test or a blood test. This oral fluid sample will be analysed by the police and by a laboratory.

Driving Under The Influence (DUI) is different. This offence is committed where police observe or your driving, your behaviour after driving, and decide that you are so much under influence of alcohol or drugs that you cannot control a vehicle. Police will take note of whether you are driving in a dangerous manner, slurring your words, swaying, smell like alcohol or have any other obvious signs of intoxication.  Police may or may not require you to provide a breath sample back at the station.

Police need to precisely follow certain procedures to convict you of these offences. There are also a number of defences which might be open to you.

Our traffic solicitors have put together three simple tables outlining the penalties for each offence.

Driving with the Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA)

Offence CategoryRangeMinimum FineMinimum Licence DisqualificationDemerit Points
1st Offence10.05 – 0.079$1,1003 months*4
20.08 – 0.149$900 -$1,3006 Months5
30.15 and above$1,100 – $1,60012 Months6
2nd Offence10.05 – 0.079$1,1006 Months4
20.08 – 0.149$1,100 – $1,60012 Months5
30.15 and above$1,600 – $2,4003 Years6
3rd Offence10.05 – 0.079$1,1009 Months4
20.08 – 0.149$1,500 – $2,2002 Years5
30.15 and above$1,900- $2,9003 Years6
4th or Subsequent Offence10.05 – 0.079$1,10012 months4
20.08 – 0.149$1,500 – $2,2002 years5
30.15 and above$1,900- $2,9003 years6
* A category 1 first offender must be given an expiation notice and there will be no disqualification if the expiation notice is paid.

Driving with prescribed drug in oral fluid or blood (PD)

Minimum FineMinimum Licence DisqualificationDemerit Points
1st Offence$900 – $1,3003 months4
2nd Offence$1,100 – $1,6006 Months4
3rd Offence$1,500 – $2,20012 Months4
4th or Subsequent Offence$1,500 – $2,2002 years4


Driving under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI)

Fine/ImprisonmentMinimum Licence DisqualificationDemerit Points
1st Offence$1,100 – $1,600

or up to 3 months imprisonment

12 Months6
Subsequent Offences$1,900-$2,900 or up to 6 months imprisonment3 Years6

Williams Legal is Here to Help

If you’ve been charged with driving with the prescribed concentration of alcohol, driving with prescribed drug in oral fluid or blood  or with driving under the influence, our team of trained drink driving and drug driving lawyers can help with your defence. Contact us today, or call (08) 8451 9040 to find out more!

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