A drink driving charge will likely cause you significant stress, with the prospect of hefty fines and losing your license.
If you were caught out over this festive season or at anytime during the year, you should contact an experienced traffic lawyer to obtain legal advice as soon as possible.
If you have been caught drink driving, you will likely be charged with driving with a prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA) in your blood. The PCA for an unconditional full license holder is 0.05 but probationary/provisional license holders have a PCA of 0.00.
A charge of PCA is different to a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) in that a charge of PCA is not concerned with the manner of driving.
In most circumstances where a driver is charged with PCA, they will have failed a roadside breath test. There are strict procedures that must be followed by police when breath testing drivers and if these procedures are not adhered to, you may have grounds to defend the charge.
PCA is a strict liability offence, which means that the prosecution only need to prove that you committed the act of driving with a prescribed concentration of alcohol in your blood as opposed to proving that you intended to do so.
A blood alcohol concentration of between 0.05 and 0.079 is considered to be a Category 1 offence and can be dealt with by way of an expiation notice if it is your first offence. This means that you will be issued with a fine but will not be disqualified from driving or need to attend court unless you elect to be prosecuted.
Subsequent offences, as well as Category 2 and Category 3 offences, must be dealt with by a Magistrate and have prescribed minimum penalties which include disqualification periods.
Whilst a Magistrate must impose minimum penalties including fines and disqualification periods, an experienced traffic lawyer will be able to provide you with advice in relation to entering the guilty plea and making submissions in relation to penalty.
In addition to any disqualification period imposed by a Magistrate, you should be aware that drink driving charges attract demerit points. You may, therefore, be disqualified for a further period if you incur too many demerit points.
With consequences that can have a severe impact on your finances and personal freedoms, an experienced traffic lawyer will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome.
For any questions you have about drink driving matters, general traffic law or most other areas of the law, contact Lindbloms lawyers today.