Find us

6/11 Prince of Wales Avenue South West Rocks,
PO Box 16 South West Rocks NSW 2431

T 02 6566 6250

Level 1 22 Belgrave Street Kempsey
PO Box 161 Kempsey NSW 2440

T 02 6562 3300


New drink-driving penalties in effect in NSW

NSW low range drink-driving penalties changed on 20 May 2019.

The changes deliver swifter, consistent and more certain penalties for drink-driving offences.


If caught driving with a blood alcohol reading in the low range (between 0.05% and 0.08%) as a first offence prior to 20 May 2019, a notice requiring you to attend local court would have been issued to you.

Before 20 May 2019, you could keep driving up until your court date.

If found guilty by the magistrate and convicted of the offence, your penalties included:
– Licence suspension for a minimum of three months; and
– Fined.

In some circumstances the magistrate may decide not to record a conviction. In this instance, you would keep your licence.

If caught driving with low range blood alcohol for the first time now, you will:
– receive an on the spot fine of $561; and
– your licence will be immediately suspended for three months.

There is no court attendance and no chance of keeping your licence!


You must wait until the suspension period expires before you can resume driving.

Driving while your licence is suspended is an offence and significant penalties apply.


Appealing the penalty notice and licence suspension is possible.

A Magistrate at the Local Court may decide not to record a conviction. If this happens, you get to keep your licence.

It’s important to get legal advice before you elect to have the matter determined in court. Appealing the matter could result in a higher penalty and longer periods of licence disqualification by the court.

If you need any assistance with your drink-driving matter, call our team today.

Have you read our blog is drink-driving a criminal offence?

To read more on these changes, check out this article by