Drink Driving (NSW) Offences are considered "serious offences" with convictions attracting heavy fines, long periods of licence disqualification and possibly a gaol sentence. New South Wales has some of the toughest drink driving laws in the country. Further, upon conviction, there are mandatory licence disqualification periods that apply.
Any reforms that have been made to drink driving laws in New South Wales have always been directed at the severity of penalties and disqualification periods; that is, to increase them. Due to the prevalence of drink driving offences in the community, the law places a greater emphasis on punishment to try and deter the community from committing these offences.
Most drink driving charges are subject to the level of Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA); that is, offences categorised by different blood-alcohol limits. The higher the category of prescribed concentration of alcohol, the higher the mandatory disqualification periods and maximum penalties. It is common knowledge that police employ devices to determine a driver's blood alcohol content and whether they are over the legal limit and if so, to what extent. It is these readings that police rely on to determine a PCA offence, along with levels determined by blood samples, where relevant.
There are also other offences related to drink driving and PCA (NSW) offences; such as refusing or failing a breath analysis or attempting to alter one's blood alcohol content before a breath test or breath analysis. These offences can also carry mandatory disqualification periods and large fines.
Finally, police can charge someone with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) where it is believed that the person is or has been driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. Police do not need the assistance of any devices or a known blood alcohol content to prove a charge of DUI. Further, they do not require expert evidence as to whether or not someone is under the influence of alcohol. The Court can determine whether someone was driving under the influence based on evidence given by witnesses in the case, particularly police officers.
The overwhelming majority of those charged with drink driving offences plead "guilty". Our lawyers have represented thousands of drink driving clients and we have a reputation for obtaining outstanding results - in reducing penalties, in having charges withdrawn and in persuading the Courts to not impose convictions and disqualifications. We have also successfully defended clients charged with drink driving offences on numerous occasions. If there is a defence available, we will find it.
If you have been charged with a drink driving (NSW) or related offence, we invite you to contact your nearest Prime Lawyers office.