Understanding Drink and Drug Driving Offences in NSW
In New South Wales, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and their subsequent penalties are outlined clearly under the law. This article provides an overview of the various offences and their respective consequences.
Not providing a blood or oral fluid sample can lead to a minimum 6-month disqualification or an automatic 3-year disqualification for first-time offenders.
Fines apply to the aforementioned offences. Repeated offences or severe DUI cases will carry more stringent penalties. Some offenders might be required to install an ignition interlock, which ensures the vehicle doesn’t start if alcohol is detected in the driver’s breath.
Driving with detectable levels of specific drugs in one’s system, including THC (cannabis), Methamphetamine, MDMA (Ecstasy), Cocaine, and Morphine (unless prescribed) is illegal. Proving impairment isn’t necessary; the mere presence of the drug is an offence.
Serious or repeated drink-driving offences might necessitate a court-ordered ignition interlock. This device prevents vehicle ignition if alcohol is detected in the driver’s breath. Typically, the interlock order lasts for at least 12 months after the disqualification period. After regaining driving privileges, those who fail to install this device could lose them for another 5 years. The cost, around $2,200 annually, falls on the offender.
Under certain conditions, the court may choose not to penalise for specific drink-driving offences. Instead, drivers might be placed on a Good Behaviour bond, and if its conditions are met, charges could be dismissed without a conviction. A Section 10 disposition isn’t a right but a court’s discretion. Factors considered include the driver’s character, age, health, the offence’s nature, circumstances surrounding the offence, and other relevant matters. Legal assistance is often crucial to seek this outcome.
While the above outlines the legalities surrounding drug and alcohol-related driving offences in NSW, it is always recommended to seek legal advice for individual cases and to remain informed of any legal updates or changes.