Anyone driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle in excess of the prescribed blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 is breaking the law. Penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment apply if you are caught drink driving.
For a person (regardless of nationality) holding a probationary or learner’s licence, the BAC tolerance is zero. A person may also be under a special category for a previous offence.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
A person who drives or attempts to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both to an extent that they are incapable of controlling the vehicle properly is committing an offence and can be arrested without a warrant.
Drink driving and driving under the influence also extend to private property and a person under certain circumstances can also be committing an offence if they are operating machinery.
Additionally, any person who refuses to undergo a breathalyser test for alcohol or drug can also face charges.
Drink driving penalties
The prescribed guidelines for the Australian government is 0.05 BAC tolerance level. Within this guideline, different States in Australia may apply different categories to decide on penalties.
Penalties are imposed based on the severity of the crime and whether the crime is a first, second or subsequent offence. The more serious the crime, the more serious the penalties applied. One or any combination of the following penalties may apply fines, demerit points, suspension of licence, disqualification, and cancellation of license and imprisonment.
Demerit points is a national system that allocates penalty points (demerits) for a range of driving offences in Australia.
If you commit an offence that carries demerit points (like DUI) the points are added to your driving record. DUI offences also carry a fine.
If you incur the threshold number of demerit points within a three-year period, a licence suspension or refusal will apply.
Alcohol interlock program
Alcohol ignition interlock is a smart breath-test device fitted to the ignition device of a vehicle. The system prevents the car from starting if the driver is over the threshold.
Alcohol interlock programs vary from state to state for repeat offenders and first-time drivers over a certain limit.
Traffic lawyer for legal representation
If you are charged with a drink driving offence, it is important to seek the help of an experienced traffic lawyer to get the best legal advice and representation for your case.
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