Recent reforms relating to Drink Driving Offences in NSW have significantly changed the existing law. As of Monday 20 May 2019 any driver even a first time or low range offender will receive an immediate three month licence suspension in addition to a $561 fine regardless of any defence or need for their licence. Therefore, an individual with no significant traffic offences and no criminal convictions will lose their licence for registering a reading between 0.050 – 0.079. The difference between a reading under the legal limit and a low range reading can be a matter of minutes.
Further, the maximum penalty for driving offences with illicit drugs including Low Range, Novice Range and Special Range PCA has increased from $1,100 to $2,200. In addition, the maximum penalty for a Mid-Range PCA offence has increased from $2,200 and/or 9 months imprisonment to $3,300 and/or 9 months imprisonment. The reform signals the NSW Government’s hard-line approach to driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
It is important you understand the significance of these reforms as the consequences may substantially impact your employment or even preclude you from international travel to some destinations. There may still be scope to challenge the reading taken by obtaining a pharmacological report depending on your circumstances so early advice should be sought.
If you or someone you know have been charged with a drink driving offence, contact WMD Law on 9525 8688 for assistance.