Drink driving is the term used to describe the offence of driving while intoxicated. In any part of the world, drink driving is a serious traffic offence. In NSW, such a traffic offence for first time offenders can attract a significant fine, a good behaviour bond or a community service order and to top it off a conviction on one’s criminal record. There is also the prospect of losing one’s licence. At the time of your having a drink it may not dawn on you but such drink driving offence penalties will have a direct bearing on you personally and professionally if you are relying on your car to get to work or to do you work. For second and or subsequent offenders the penalty will include a heftier fine, a disqualification of your licence and depending on how serious the incident was, there is a chance of a possible prison sentence.
Generally, a driver will be stopped and breathalysed twice, once at the incident or roadside and then again at the police station or in mobile buses. The second reading is what is used to charge you. The higher a person’s prescribed concentration of alcohol, the more serious the penalty you are likely to receive, the greater the fine and the longer the period of licence disqualification. For example, for mid-range drink driving NSW, if it is your first offence you may be penalized by receiving at least six months disqualification from driving this is in addition to a fine and conviction.
If you are charged with drink driving you will be issued with a court attendance notice. This notice requires you to attend court on a specific day. When in court you can either plead guilty or not guilty. If you choose to plead not guilty, your case will proceed to a defended hearing. In such a hearing the police will need to prove that you were driving with more than the prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA) in your system. The police are required to prove this beyond reasonable doubt. In this situation you will need an experienced drink driving lawyer to advise you on different options that can be raised to the charge.
If you alternatively, plead guilty and seek leniency from the magistrate your options are:
Depending on your record, if clean, you can ask the magistrate to issue a Section 10, which imposes no conviction for the offence
Try to persuade the magistrate to reduce the automatic period of disqualification to the minimum
Further, so as to get good results you may furnish the magistrate with character references, an apology letter and undertaking to a Traffic Offenders Program.
However, it must be noted that a mandatory interlock order may apply if you have been convicted of a high range drink driving offence or are a repeat drink driving offender.
Despite the number of offences you may have committed in relation to drink driving, it is strongly recommended that you enlist the services of a drink driving lawyer with the necessary experience and knowledge to represent you in your case.