In NSW, refusing or failing a breath test or analysis is a serious offence with significant penalties.
This article aims to shed light on the consequences associated with refusing or failing to comply with a breath test or analysis, emphasizing the legal ramifications and potential impact on an individual’s life.
Fines and Financial Penalties
Refusing or failing a breath test or analysis can lead to substantial financial penalties. The exact amount varies depending on the circumstances, prior convictions, and the severity of the offence. In NSW, fines for such offences can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, significantly burdening the offender.
Licence Disqualification and Suspension
Automatic licence disqualification is one of the most immediate and impactful consequences of refusing or failing a breath test or analysis. The duration of the disqualification period varies depending on the offence and the individual’s history.
The minimum disqualification period for refusing a breath test or analysis is typically longer than that for failing the test. In some cases, licence disqualification can last from several months to several years, depending on the severity of the offence and any prior convictions.
Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program
In certain cases, individuals who refuse or fail a breath test or analysis may be subject to the mandatory alcohol interlock program. This program requires installing an alcohol interlock device in the offender’s vehicle, which requires them to provide a breath sample before starting the car. If alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start.
Participation in the alcohol interlock program is typically required for a specific period, and the offender is responsible for the associated costs, including installation and monthly monitoring fees. Failure to comply with the program requirements can result in further penalties and consequences.
Imprisonment (for serious or repeat offences)
Serious or repeat offences of refusing or failing a breath test or analysis can lead to imprisonment. The court considers the circumstances, prior convictions, and the potential danger posed to public safety when determining the need for imprisonment.
Imprisonment sentences vary depending on the severity of the offence and can range from months to years. A conviction resulting in imprisonment can have a significant and lasting impact on an individual’s personal and professional life.
Criminal Record and Impact on Employment
Refusing or failing a breath test or analysis results in a criminal record, which can have long-lasting consequences. A criminal record can hinder employment opportunities, affect professional licenses or certifications, and impact various aspects of an individual’s life, including travel and volunteer work.
Having a criminal record for drink driving-related offences may result in increased insurance premiums, limitations on certain occupations, and potential stigma within the community.
Refusing or failing a breath test or analysis in NSW carries severe penalties and consequences. These include substantial fines, licence disqualification, mandatory participation in the alcohol interlock program, potential imprisonment, and a lasting criminal record that can impact various areas of life.