Drink Driving Offences
Being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol is frequently a traumatic and concerning experience. Because drink driving is the most common criminal offence committed by Australians, it is also frequently a person’s first experience of the criminal law system.
Aside from the trauma of being charged by police and having to attend court, the criminal penalties for drink driving can be severe and as such, legal representation is usually recommended.
If you have been charged with drink driving, our solicitors will:
- Carefully consider the circumstances, facts and evidence surrounding the charge
- Advise whether you should plead guilty or not guilty
- Advise you of the potential penalties and likely outcome
- Prepare a restricted licence application (if applicable)
- Prepare submissions and present your case to the presiding Magistrate and prosecutors on your behalf
If you wish to plead guilty to a drink driving charge, BDN Lawyers will provide you with a simple fixed fee quote.
If you wish to defend a charge, then BDN Lawyers will provide a quote having consideration to:
- The number of charges;
- The amount of evidence;
- The number of anticipated court attendances;
- The anticipated duration of the trial;
- Whether a barrister is to be instructed.
We will examine the circumstances of the charge and advise whether it can be defended. If the charge cannot be defended a plea of guilty should be entered as soon as possible.
For drink driving offences in the ACT, it is possible for some people to apply for a restricted licence which will allow them to continue driving for specific, limited purposes, such as transport to and from work.
You can apply for a restricted licence if:
- The drink driving offence occurred in the ACT;
- You live in the ACT;
- It is your first drink driving offence; and
- You hold a full licence and your blood alcohol level was not greater than 0.099g OR you are a special licence holder and your blood alcohol concentration was not greater than 0.049g.
Further conditions concerning eligibility can be at www.courtsact.gov.au.
Both the ACT and NSW jurisdictions have provision to find a person guilty of an offence, but to not record a conviction. In the context of drink driving, this outcome allows you to keep your licence.
This outcome is usually reserved for people who:
- Have been driving for a significant period of time;
- Have a perfect or near perfect driving record; and
- Loss of their licence would have an inordinate impact on their capacity to work or ability to care for an ill family member etc.
Both the ACT and NSW have provision for mandatory interlock programs for certain high range and repeat drink driving offenders. This means that you may be required to have an interlock system fitted to your vehicle for a period of time to demonstrate safe driving behaviour. Depending on the charge you may also be required to participate in treatment or training programs as ordered by a Magistrate.
Lower risk drink driving offenders in the ACT also have the option of participating in the interlock program during their driving disqualification period. However, they will also be required to demonstrate a period of clean driving before they can exit the interlock program. This is generally three months.
The laws in NSW and the ACT in relation to their respective interlock programs are complex, especially for offenders who hold a drivers licence issued by a different jurisdiction to where the offence took place.
We recommend that you obtain legal advice in respect of your options and whether you will or may be subject to a mandatory interlock order prior to your matter being dealt with.