Is Drink Driving a criminal offence?
Have you recently been caught drink driving?
Perhaps you decided to have a few cold ones with your mates at the Local on your way home from work. Maybe you had a big night out and thought you would be okay to drive the next morning. Perhaps you had one too many wines with your girlfriends out at dinner. If this sounds familiar to you, you’re likely thinking:
• How am I going to get to work every day?
• How am I going to get the groceries?
• How am I going to get the kids to school?
Without doubt, there’ll be one looming question on your mind:
Is drink driving a criminal offence and what could that mean for me?
In New South Wales drink driving is a criminal offence.
If found guilty to a drink driving offence, it may result in a criminal record, significant fines/penalties, licence suspension and even imprisonment.
So what does this mean for you?
It depends on what you have been charged with. For example, if you are an unrestricted licence holder and convicted of mid-range prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA) and it is your first offence, you risk:
• Being fined up to $2,200
• Being disqualified from driving for a minimum of 6 months
• Possible imprisonment for up to 9 months
• Immediate licence suspension
Drink driving is treated as a serious driving offence with significant penalties.
It is important that you seek legal advice promptly. Once you receive a Court Attendance Notice it is crucial to obtain legal advice. There may be a number of matters your solicitor can assist you with in preparation for your hearing. This may include:
• Discussing whether you are going to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
• Considering if you should seek an adjournment so you may undertake the Traffic Offenders Intervention Program
• Explaining the considerations undertaken by the magistrate on sentencing (if pleading guilty) and how certain factors may assist in reducing your sentence. This may include your need of a licence due to employment/family commitments, good character and your likelihood of reoffending.
After we provide you with your initial advice, we will also represent you in court on your hearing date. We will enter a plea on your behalf and strive to obtain the best possible result for you in the circumstances.
Is drink driving a criminal offence? In NSW, yes! If you have been charged with a drink driving offence contact us without delay.