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The offence of Low Range drink driving is committed by a driver who drives a motor vehicle on a public road with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.05 and below 0.079.

Generally, if it is your first offence for drink driving, we are confident that you have good prospects of avoiding a conviction, and being dealt with under ‘section 10’. This means that you will not be disqualified from driving. We have had tremendous success with first offenders who are charged with Low Range drink driving

What are the penalties for low range drink driving?

The maximum penalty for a Low Range drink driving offence, if it is your first major traffic offence within 5 years, is a fine of $1,100.00 and an automatic disqualification period of 6 months. The minimum disqualification period is 3 months unless the matter is dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act in which case you will not be disqualified from driving. Click here to find out more about section 10.

The concern for most drivers charged with a Low Range PCA offence is that they will lose their licence. Our experienced traffic lawyers have the skills and know how to prepare your case in a way that gives you the best chance of keeping your licence.

Penalty where the offence is a second or subsequent major offence within 5 years

The maximum penalty for a Low Range drink driving offence, if it is your second or subsequent major offence within 5 years, is a fine of $2,200.00 an maximum disqualification period of 3 months,  and a minimum disqualification period of 1 month unless the matter is dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act in which case you will not be disqualified from driving. To find out more about a section 10, click here.

Where a second or subsequent offence of this nature occurs within 5 years, then a mandatory minimum period of 12 months using the interlock device will be imposed.

Click here to find out what the major traffic offences are.

Possible Defences to a Low Range drink driving offence

  1. Breath analysis not taken within two hours of driving – The police must prove that you had a blood alcohol concentration alleged at the time you were driving. The law requires that the breath analysis occurs within 2 hours of driving.
  2. The law prohibits the police from demanding a breath test of a driver at their home. Home includes any part of the property.
  3. You were not the driver. As with any criminal offence, the police must prove it was in fact you who committed the offence.

Drink Driving Penalties 

drink driving table

Our client was charged with low range PCA. His blood alcohol reading was 0.65. In preparing his case for sentence, one of our Traffic Lawyers directed our client to attend the traffic offender’s program. The program was an 8 week, 2 hour per week program that our client attended after work on Wednesday nights.

When the matter came back to Fairfield Local Court following the completion of the program, we were fully prepared in advancing our argument for a section 10.

Fortunately for us, our client following our advice exactly as requested, obtaining the right references from the right people. He also provided to the court documentary evidence of what would happen to his career if he was convicted of the offence.

His Honour Magistrate Spence agreed with our argument, and our client was placed on a bond without conviction, pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.

Our client was charged with a Low Range PCA. His blood alcohol concentration was 0.075, falling just under the Mid Range limit of 0.08. Our client faced a possible criminal record, heavy fines and an automatic period of disqualification for 6 months.

Our client had a mortgage and worked as a sales representative for IBM where he is required to travel independently as a condition of his employment. He had a good driving record, this being his first major traffic offence.

He completed the Traffic Offenders Program with outstanding completion of his written assignments.

In late 2012 we appeared before Magistrate Spence at Fairfield Local Court. His Honour described our client’s participation and assignments in the Traffic Offenders Program as “Excellent”.

After careful persuasion, his Honour reluctantly ordered a Section 10(1)(b) bond for a period of 12 months.

Our client continues to work as a sales representative, without a penalty or criminal record.

Our client was charged with a Low Range PCA with a reading of 0.072. He had been hosting a function in the city where his wine glass was frequently being refilled making it difficult to measure the amount of alcohol he consumed.

It was imperative for our client to keep his licence. He was employed as a sales representative which required travelling daily across the Sydney metropolitan area, regional NSW areas and interstate. His employer provided a letter which confirmed that without a driver’s licence, our client would have his employment terminated.

A loss of licence and employment would have devastating consequences for our client and his family, who were struggling to repay the mortgage and support their 4 children. To make matters worse, our client lived in a remote area near the Blue Mountains some 20 kilometres from public transport.

The matter was before Magistrate Stubbs at Windsor Local Court. Our solicitor made a compelling case in mitigation which addressed proof of minimal public transport, bushfire risks and the requirement for a licence for employment. Our client was also a man of good character and standing in the community without any criminal antecedents.

Her Honour dealt with our client’s case by way of a section 10. Our client was able to keep his job, his house and ensure the safety of his family in an isolated rural area.

Our client was very pleased with this excellent result.

Our client was a 23 year old female who had too much to drink on New Year’s Eve and was charged with low range PCA on the 1st January. What a way to start the New Year!

She was a civilian employee for the NSW Police and desperately needed to keep her record clean. Our lawyer enrolled her in the Traffic Offenders Program and appeared before Her Honour Truscott at Bankstown Local Court, making submissions that a criminal record and loss of licence would detrimentally affect her employment with NSW Police.

Her Honour was convinced and gave our client a Section 10 bond for 12 months. Our client was able to keep her record clean and keep her licence.

Our client was a P1 driver who was charged with low range PCA. Magistrates are particularly tough on P-Platers and a Section 10 was always going to be a tough ask.

Our lawyer appeared before Local Court Magistrate Longley at Burwood Local Court and made strong submissions that a conviction for our client would lead to loss of his employment as a formwork operator, which would mean cancellation of his working visa and potential deportation.

His Honour was convinced by these compelling submissions and somewhat reluctantly imposed a Section 10 bond.

An excellent result for our client.

Our client was charged with a low range PCA offence. This offence happened 18 years after a previous PCA offence.

Our client faced with a very difficult position in that if she did not get a section 10 she would have to walk up and down a very dangerous and steep road in the dark, morning and night, to catch public transport.

Given our client’s expressions of remorse, her participation in the traffic offenders program and the hardship she would face taking public transport. His Honour Magistrate Favretto at North Sydney Local Court dealt with the matter by way of a section 10(1)(b) (good behaviour bond) for 2 years.

This was an excellent result for our client.