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Drug Driving Penalties NSW

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There are six major drug driving offenses in NSW. These are:

  • Having the presence of certain types of substances in oral fluid, blood or urine
  • Driving under the influence of drugs
  • Refusal to submit to a drug test.
  • Altering the amount of drug before oral fluid test
  • Driver/ supervisor involved in a fatal accident fail to supply blood/urine sample
  • Fail on demand to provide sample of blood/urine, or alter result of drug in blood before test

The table below outlines the penalties that can be imposed for drug driving offences.

Maximum Fine Maximum Jail Automatic disqualification Minimum disqualification
First Offence
Prescribed illicit drug in oral fluid/blood/urine $1,100 Nil 6 months 3 months
Cocaine or Morphine in blood/urine: $1,100 Nil 6 months 3 months
DUI drug $2,200 9 months 12 months 6 months
Refuse undergo oral fluid test $3,300 Nil 3 years 6 months
Refuse to supply blood sample $3,300 Nil 3 years 6 months
Alter amount of drug before oral fluid test $3,300 Nil 3 years 6 months
Driver involved in fatal accident fail to supply blood/urine sample: $3,300 18 months 3 years 6 months
Fail on demand to provide sample of blood/urine, $3,300 18 months 3 years 6 months
Second Offence within 5 Years
Prescribed illicit drug in oral fluid/blood/urine $2,200 Nil 12 months 6 months
Cocaine or Morphine in blood/urine: $2,200 Nil 12 months 6 months
DUI drug $3,300 12 months 3 years 12 months
Refuse undergo oral fluid test $5,500 18 months 5 years 12 months
Refuse to supply blood sample $5,500 18 months 5 years 12 months
Alter amount of drug before oral fluid test $5,500 Nil 5 years 12 months
Driver involved in fatal accident fail to supply blood/urine sample: $5,500 2 years 5 years 12 months
Fail on demand to provide sample of blood/urine, $5,500 2 years 5 years 12 months

The types of drugs in the system (oral, blood or urine) are:

  • THC (Delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol) or cannabis, also known as marijuana, dope, weed, gunga, grass or pot.
  • METHYLAMPETAMINE also known as speed or ice.
  • METHYLENEDIOXYMETHYLAMPHETAMINE also known as ecstasy, eccies, pingers, roundies, pills or disco biscuits.
  • MORPHINE also known as morph.
  • COCAINE also known as rack, coke, charlie "getting on the bag" or snort.

A person can be randomly asked to submit to an oral fluids test for drugs. Random oral testing for drugs such as cannabis can detect the presence of this drug many hours after use. Urine tests can show this drug up for many months after use.

  • Section 10 dismissal
  • Fine
  • Good behavior bond
  • Community service
  • Intensive corrections order
  • Imprisonment
  • Disqualification of license

The automatic period of license disqualification is what can be expected to be imposed by the Magistrate. However, the court can order a disqualification less than the automatic but not less than the minimum period of disqualification.

The court can decide not to convict an offender found guilty of an offence and dismiss the offence under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. If a matter is dealt with under section 10 there will be no loss of licence and no other penalty.




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In NSW, traffic offences are treated seriously. Therefore, it is important to get competent legal advice as early as possible, whether you have received a penalty notice, had your licence suspended or been charged with a serious offence. Our lawyers are highly experienced and understand the difficulties you face without a licence. We can guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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