Traffic Law

Novice Range PCA

The Law

Novice Range PCA is a drink driving offence that carries with it fines and a mandatory disqualification period upon conviction.

"PCA" stands for "prescribed concentration of alcohol". To be able to prove this charge, police need to obtain evidence and prove that the person blood alchol content was within the particular PCA range.  

The Novice Range PCA means a concentration of more than zero, but less than 0.02.

Pursuant to section 110(1) of the Road Transport Act, a novice driver must not, while there is present in their breath or blood the novice range prescribed concentration of alcohol:

(a) drive a motor vehicle, or

(b) occupy the driving seat of a motor vehicle and attempt to put the motor vehicle in motion.

"Novice driver" by definition mainly includes a learner licence holder (or someone who has had their learner licence suspended or disqualified); a provisional licence holder (or someone who has had their provisional licence suspended or disqualified); and someone who has never held a licence.


The penalties that apply to a Novice Range PCA drink driving offence are as follows:


Maximum Fine


Minimum Interlock Period

Maximum Gaol 







1st offence


6 months

3 months









2 or more


1 month

3 months

12 months


Mandatory Interlock

Upon convicton, a Mandatory Interlock order upon convicting someone for their "second or subsequent" Novice Range PCA offence. Read the following article for more information on Mandatory Interlock Orders.


It is a defence to a charge of Novice Range PCA if the driver can prove that that alcohol was consumed solely for the purposes of religious observance (such as taking Communion) or was ingested for some other purpose, such as medicinal reasons, rather than for the purpose of consuming the alcohol.

Of course, there are other defences to Novice Range PCA, which are common to all other PCA and DUI offences, as can be seen in our article on "How to Beat a Drink Driving Charge".

Where the charge cannot be defended, an experienced Traffic Lawyer can properly prepare and present your case to ensure that your chances of avoiding a disqualification or reducing penalties are maximised. 

Therefore, even where someone decides to plead "guilty" to a Novice Range offence, there is great value in engaging a Traffic Lawyer with specific experience in this area of law.

If you have are facing a Novice Range PCA charge and are required to attend Court, contact one of our lawyers at Sydney, Parramatta, Chatswood, Sutherland or Wollongong for assistance.

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