Drink Driving Offences and Penalties
It is an offence to drive with over the prescribed concentration of alcohol in the blood. It is not relevant that you are feeling no effects or your driving is altered in any way. The maximum blood alcohol level on a full licence is .05. For Learners or Provisional licence holders it is a breach of licence conditions with any alcohol in the blood. If you are charged with a drink driving offence, talk to an experienced DUI Lawyer in the Adelaide area so that you understand the implications and options for your defence.
The drink driving offences, and penalties in South Australia are governed by the Road Traffic Act 1961, and in particular section 47B.
In South Australia there are three drink driving categories:
Category 1 – PCA (prescribed concentration of alcohol) between 0.05 to 0.079
Category 2 – PCA of 0.08 to 0.149, and;
Category 3 – PCA of 0.15 or higher.
Drink driving in South Australia may result in a fine, disqualification and loss of demerit points. If all demerit points are lost there may also be a period of disqualification imposed in addition to that imposed by the courts.
Additionally if you have are a number of previous drink driving offences an alcohol dependency assessment may be required.
If charged with a Category 1 drink driving offence and it is a first offence the usual penalty is an expiation notice, and a loss of 4 demerit points. If you unsuccessfully plead not guilty the fine will be more than double the expiation notice and a possible 3 months disqualification.
A Category 2 drink driving offence may result in a loss of 5 demerit points, a fine of more than $1,000 and a disqualification period of at least 6 months.
Category 3 drink driving offences will result in the loss of 6 demerit points, a fine up to $1600, and at least 12 months disqualification.
For all Category 2 and 3 offences (and category 1 if other than an expiation notice) the police have powers to immediate suspend your licence and impound your vehicle. If this is not your first offence or your PCA is higher than 0.15 you may be required to install an alcohol interlock device to your vehicle after the disqualification period.
Previous drink driving offences will likely be considered when determining penalties and fines and disqualification periods will be increased accordingly.
The Legal Services Commission provides a fact sheet and comprehensive information on their website here
Ask a DUI Lawyer in Adelaide
South Australian laws in relation to are clear and have serious penalties attached. If you are charged with a drink driving offence it is important to contact an experienced Adelaide DUI lawyer as soon as possible. If you intend to plead not guilty do not pay your expiation notice and contact your lawyer. Once the expiation notice is paid there is no avenue for challenging the offence.
Our lawyers will always investigate whether there is a basis to your charge and opportunities for it to be withdrawn or if there is a possibility of a reduced charge.
Talk to us early and before you pay your expiation notice. Call 08 84519040